The Medici villas and gardens, UNESCO World Heritage Sites
Since 2013, the majority of the Medici villas and gardens built in Tuscany have been part of UNESCO: 14 sites, situated in some of the most beautiful spots Tuscany has to offer, have now been recognised as World Heritage Sites.
The following itineraries offer up a chance to value their history and explore points of interest that demonstrate what the Medici achieved.
It’s not easy to connect these sites in a single itinerary as they are geographically scattered and have varying visiting times. Some of the sites are museums, some are private but open to the public and others, for various reasons, are only viewable from the outside.
The following is an itinerary to visit all the sites, leaving from the centre of Florence.
Recommended modes of transport
Car or with public transport (where possible)
THE BOBOLI GARDEN
Part of the Palazzo Pitti museum complex and the Uffizi Gallery network. Entrance depends on museum regulations and is open from Monday to Sunday from 8.15am.
For info: The Uffizi Galleries, Piazzale degli Uffizi 6, Florence.
VILLA DI POGGIO IMPERIALE
A little more than 2 kilometres away, at the end of the avenue of the same name, you will find the Villa di Poggio Imperiale, a museum-school home to the state-run School of SS Annunziata. The visits are by appointment and are often accompanied by the students themselves.
For info: Villa di Poggio imperiale – Piazzale del Poggio Imperiale, Florence.
Tel: + 39 055 226171
Per info: Villa di Poggio imperiale – Piazzale del Poggio Imperiale, Firenze.
Tel: + 39 055 226171
VILLA MEDICEA DI CAREGGI
A circa 8 chilometri dal centro città troviamo la Villa Medicea di Careggi.
MEDICI VILLA DI CAREGGI
Around 8 kilometres from the city centre lies the Medici Villa di Careggi.
The villa is owned by the Region of Tuscany and is currently not open to the public as it’s under restoration.
For info: Villa di Careggi – Viale Gaetano Pieraccini 17, Florence.
VILLA MEDICEA DI FIESOLE
Eight kilometres from Florence, reachable by car and public transport but also by walking from the city centre, you will find the Medici villa in Fiesole.
The only part of the villa that can be visited is the garden. Weekdays 9.00am – 1.00pm by appointment only.
For info: Villa Medici – Via Angelico 2 – Fiesole (FI)
Around 10 kilometres from Fiesole and a little more than 14 kilometres from Florence, following via Bolognese, lies the Pratolino Garden.
The garden, owned by the Metropolitan City of Florence, is open to the public on Friday, Saturday and Sunday from April – September, 10.00am – 8.00pm, and from October onwards, 10.00am – 6.00pm. It’s possible to visit outside of these hours for groups upon appointment only. For info: Giardino di Pratolino – Via Fiorentina 276 – Vaglia (FI)
VILLA DI CAFAGGIOLO
Fifteen kilometres from the Pratolino Garden and 28 kilometres from Florence, in the area of Barberino in Mugello, lies the Villa di Cafaggiolo.
The villa, privately owned, is under restoration and does not accept visitors. The imposing building can be admired from the outside.
For info: Villa di Cafaggiolo – Via Nazionale, 16, Barberino di Mugello (FI)
VILLA DEL TREBBIO
A little more than 3 kilometres from the Cafaggiolo Villa, you can arrive at the Villa del Trebbio by car or on foot.
The privately owned Trebbio Villa and Castle does not accept visitors. It’s possible to view the villa from the outside in the surrounding countryside, surrounded by the beautiful landscape of the Mugello.
For info: Villa del Trebbio – Località Trebbio 11, San Piero a Sieve (FI)
VILLA LA PETRAIA
Returning to the Florentine plain, around 25 kilometres from the Mugello and a little more than 10 kilometres from the centre of Florence is the Villa La Petraia.
The vlla and its attractive garden are part of Tuscany’s museum network, the Polo Museale, and you can visit every day. Hours vary depending on the time of year.
VILLA DI CASTELLO
The Villa di Castello is only a few hundred metres away.
The villa, seat of the prestigious Accademia della Crusca, can only be visited by guided tour on the last Sunday of every month from 11.00am – 1.00pm. The charming Italian garden, managed by Tuscany’s Polo Museale, can be visited every day.
For info: Villa di Castello, Via di Castello 46 – Florence
To visit the villa, contact the Accademia della Crusca www.accademiadellacrusca.it
To visit the garden polomusealetoscana.beniculturali.it
VILLA MEDICEA DI POGGIO A CAIANO
Crossing the Florentine plain, around 18 kilometres from Florence in the direction of Pistoia sits the Medici villa in Poggio a Caiano.
Like the La Petraia Villa, this site is part of Tuscany’s museum network.
For info and opening hours: Medici Villa in Poggio a Caiano – Piazza de Medici 14,
VILLA LA MAGIA
Continuing onto Pistoia, 11 kilometres from Poggio to Caiano and around 30 kilometres from Florence, in the municipality of Quarrata, we find Villa La Magia.
The municipality-owned villa is open for guided tours every third Sunday of the month at 4.00pm. You can visit with a group booking of at least 15 people.
For info: villa La Magia – Via Vecchia Fiorentina I Tronco, 63 – Quarrata PT
VILLA DI ARTIMINO
From Quarrata, climbing Montalbano towards Carmignano, around 5 kilometres from the Villa of Poggio a Caiano and around 20 kilometres from Florence. You’ll reach the Villa di Artimino.
Situated in the namesake town of Artimino, this villa is privately owned and only open for visits by appointment, which can be booked at the near-by archaeological museum.
For info: Medici Villa di Artimino – Viale Papa Giovanni XXIII 1 – Artimino (PO)
For bookings: Archaeological Museum in Artimino – Piazza San Carlo, 3 – Artimino, (PO)
MEDICI VILLA DI CERRETO GUIDI
Continuing down the road on the Montalbano, in the Empoli area, 26 kilometres from Artimino and around 45 kilometres from Florence, taking the Firenze-Pisa-Livorno road, lies the Medici Villa di Cerreto Guidi .
The Cerreto Guidi villa can be found in the namesake town and is part of the Tuscany’s museum network.
For info and opening hours: Cerreto Guidi Medici villa – Via dei Ponti Medicei 12, Cerreto Guidi (FI)
Tel.+39 0571 55707
MEDICI VILLA DI SERAVEZZA
At a distance of approximately 110 kilometres from Florence, following the “Firenze-Mare” A11 Motorway until the Lucca Ovest exit, where you then connect to the motorway link road for Viareggio, eventually exiting at Versilia, you reach the Medici villa di Seravezza.
The villa, owned by the municipality of Seravezza, is home to a Library and Museum of Folk Traditions, plus an exhibition space. For information concerning opening hours consult the website:
www.museolavoroseravezza.it and www.palazzomediceo.it
For info: Villa Medicea di Seravezza – Viale Leonetto Amadei, 230 – Seravezza (LU)