The Villa Medicea of Cerreto Guidi
In the heart of Tuscany, there is a villa on the ruins of an ancient castle
The villa medicea of Cerreto Guidi stands in the middle of a small village located in the province of Florence. The name Cerreto Guidi comes from cerro, a kind of tree very present in this territory until at least the year 1000 and from the name of the family Guidi.
The Earls Guidi for centuries dominated a vast territory which also included the area where the villa is. Their dominance was interrupted only when the power of Florence grew and in 1273 this territory was conquered by the florentines.
Located on the hill overlooking the settlement, the villa was built on the walls of the conti Guidi castle within the previous defensive wall. The central and raised locationof the villa marks the exact centre of Cerreto Guidi and around it was formed the village.
The construction of the Villa was begun, by Cosimo I de’ Medici, between the 1555 and the 1564 when the construction site was started. The construction works, to whom according to many authors also participated Buontalenti, were completed in 1575 (year of inauguration).
The villa looks like a compact block of two floors, with a rectangular planimetry arranged around a large central hall which is accessed directly from the front door. In the sides of the main hall are located the other rooms in a symmetrical pattern. The layout of the ground floor is largely repeated in the foreground.
In the back of the villa are four arcades, two on both floors, which contain three large openings. Passing through the arcades we reach an open space, now used as a garden, which was once used as a staging area for chariots and horses.
To a very sober plan, correspond equally sober stone decorations, placed around the various openings, in addition to the Medici family’s coat of arms above the main entrance.
The villa, which was once a place of administrative power and pleasure, since the 2002 hosts the Museo storico della caccia e del territorio (Historical Museum of Hunting and Territory).
The Museum contains over 300 hunting weapons, covering a period from the middle ages to the modern era.
In addition to weapons, the villa also hosts an important collection of paintings from the Medici collections and works of various kinds.
Via dei Ponti Medicei 7, Cerreto Guidi (Florence).
From Monday toSunday 8.15-19.00.
Closing: second and third monday every month, 1 January, 1 May and Christmas.
For more informations consult the official website.