TUSCANY BEFORE THE MEDICI

Medici villas in Etruscan sites

Medici Villas included: Villa di Fiesole, Villa la Petraia, Villa di Castello, Villa di Artimino

This itinerary means you can visit Etruscan sites that are close to the Medici villas of Fiesole, la Petraia, Castello and Artimino. The area north of the Arno, in the Etruscan age, was populated with many settlements: from Fiesole to Quinto in the Sesto Fiorentino area to Gonfienti (a rediscovered Etruscan city between Prato and Campi Bisenzio), Comeana and Artimino. These places meant that the Etruscans were well connected with Tyrrhenian Etruria, the north and with agriculture in the fertile Florentine plain.

 

RECOMMENDED MODES OF TRANSPORT
By car or by public transport

STOPS
4 Stops

1
FIRST STOP
ARCHAEOLOGICAL MUSEUM IN FLORENCE

House in the 17th-century Palazzo Crocetta, the building became a museum when the archaeological collections previously located in via Faenza were moved there in 1880. The museum has vast collections, including Egyptian artefacts, Etruscan pieces, a section of historic Medici objects and a collection from the House of Lorraine. Some of the most valuable findings belonged to the Medici, like the Medici-Riccardi horse head and the Chimera, from Arezzo, found in 1553 and immediately brought into Cosimo I de’ Medici’s collection .

2
SECOND STOP
ARCHAEOLOGICAL AREA IN FIESOLE

Evidence of human existence in Fiesole has been documented since the Bronze Age. In the 8th – 9th century BCE, the Etruscans settled in the area and the construction of the city walls in the 4th – 3rd century BCE confirms their presence. In 1809, the first excavations were carried out on a farm called Buche delle Fate, where Roman ruins were found. The excavations continue today. The excavations in the archaeological area in Fiesole include the Roman theatre, baths, and an Etruscan-Roman temple. The archaeological museum contains the material remains of Fiesole’s long history.

3
THIRD STOP
ARCHAEOLOGICAL AREA IN SESTO FIORENTINO

The Etruscans, as shown by many discoveries made in the last century, existed in the Sesto Fiorentino area. The tombs in Quinto (La Montagnola, La Mula and Villa Torrigiani), the numerous findings found in recent decades and the Villanovan necropolis of Palastreto are evidence of Etruscan presence in the area.

4
FOURTH STOP
ARCHAEOLOGICAL PARK IN CARMIGNANO

The Etruscan city of Artimino, dating from the 7th century BCE, had control of a vast area between the Florentine plain and Montalbano. The Archaeological Park, established in 2011, includes many archaeological sites found since the 1960s. The Archaeological Museum is at the heart of the complex. It contains funeral objects found in the necropolis of Prato Rosello and Comeana, such as a remarkable turquoise glass cup, funeral dowries and artefacts from the settlements of Artimino and Pietramarina.

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