The Villa Medicea and the City Center
The Villa Medicea is the main tourist attraction of Cerreto Guidi. Declared UNESCO World Heritage Site in June 2013, the grand-ducal residence rises on a hill in the center of the Renaissance village, which is adorned by the huge, symmetric zigzag staircases attributed to Buontalenti, making it unique and unmistakable. Built on the remains of the Conti Guidi fortress, the Villa makes visible – today as yesterday – Medici’s presence and power in this territory.
Wanted by Cosimo I, who built a rather simple hunting lodge by 1555, after the annexation of the town into the possessions of the Duchy of Tuscany, was enlarged and enlarged during the second half of the 16th century. It was often used by the Medici, in all seasons, both for hunting holes and as a stopover in their travels between Florence, Pisa or Livorno. On 15 July 1576 the villa was the scene of the brutal assassination of Isabella de ‘Medici by the hand of her husband Paolo Giordano I Orsini. The woman was strangled, according to tradition, today discussed, to punish her infidelity.
After the Medici Extinction (1738), the villa passed to Lorraine and later alienated to private. He returned to the state in 1969, becoming a national museum.
The panoramic view from the terrace facing the villa is extraordinary, ranging on a wide spectrum of the Apennine and the hills between the Arno and Padule di Fucecchio.
Today, the villa houses an important collection of portraits of the De Medici family, the Bardini antique collection and the 2002 Historical Hunting and Territory Museum, which includes hunting weapons from the Middle Ages to the Modern Age.
The pretty garden, located on the outskirts of the villa, has a nineteenth-century plant with inserts and modifications implemented in the early twentieth century.
Open Monday to Sunday
From October to March from 10am to 6pm
From April to September from 9am to 6pm
On Sunday the museum will be open all year round from 10am to 7pm
Closing: second and third Monday of the month, New Year, May 1st, Christmas.