Where the Medici died
Final moments in their villas. Glory and mystery
Villas included: Medici Villa di Careggi, Medici Villa di Castello, Medici villa in Poggi a Caiano and Medici Villa di Cerreto Guidi
Many villas attest to the final days of the last members of the great Florentine family. They died surrounded by glory, but very often shrouded in violence and mystery.
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VILLA DI CAREGGI
Cosimo the Elder died in his beloved villa on August 1, 1464 in the presence of Marsilio Ficino and members of the Accademia Neoplatonica. His body was buried in the crypt of the Basilica of San Lorenzo, and in 1465, a plaque with the words Pater Patriae was placed at the crossing inside the church.
Lorenzo the Magnificent suffered from gout just like many Medici men. He died in the Villa di Careggi on April 8, 1492 from gangrene caused by an ulcer on his leg, comforted by Savonarola himself. Initially, his remains were placed in the Old Sacristy, but were later relocated to the New Sacristy, along his brother, in a sarcophagus sculpted by Michelangelo.
VILLA DI CASTELLO
Cosimo I, in old age, married the young Camilla Martelli in a private ceremony, with whom he split his final years between the Villa d Castello and Poggio a Caiano. A series of apoplectic fits weakened him considerably, making him increasingly gloomy and distant from his young wife, who was barely interested in helping him. He died following a fit in the Villa di Castello on April 21, 1574.
MEDICI VILLA IN POGGIO A CAIANO
Francesco I, son of Cosimo I and Eleonora di Toledo, died on October 19, 1587, just a few days before his second wife, Bianca Cappello, at the villa in Poggio a Caiano. The love between the two was scorned by the Florentine family, as Francesco was married to Joanna of Austria. After Joanna died, Francesco was free to marry the beautiful Venetian. The couple chose the villa in Poggio a Caiano as their preferred residence. And in this villa, following a dinner, they both began to suffer from a strong fever, dying after 11 days of slow agony. Recent discoveries have revealed that they were poisoned with arsenic. Francesco is buried alongside his first wife in the Medici Chapels. Bianca Cappello is probably buried in Bonistallo, in the Municipality of Poggio a Caiano.
MEDICI VILLA DI CERRETO GUIDI
Isabella, the daughter of Cosimo I and Eleonora di Toledo, died on July 16, 1576 in the Medici Villa di Cerreto Guidi following a long illness. A long and rich literary tradition supports the idea that she was killed by her husband, Paolo Giordano Orsini. The motive could have been Isabella’s affair with Troilo Orsini (her husband’s cousin) or that her husband fell in love with Vittoria Accoramboni. The official version was that Isabella died while washing her hair. She is buried in the Medici Chapels behind San Lorenzo.
BASILICA OF SAN LORENZO AND THE MEDICI CHAPELS
This itinerary inevitably ends in Florence. The Medici chose the famous Florentine church as their pantheon. Here, as previously mentioned, is where many members of the Medici are buried, a family that made the history of Tuscany great and glorious.