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Villa di Castello is the magnificent mansion of the Duke of Tuscany and dates back to 16th Century. This history of this place can be traced back to early 15th Century, when there stood a fort on the same grounds. It was rebuilt and renovated in 15th Century and is known for its gardens. Villa di Castello overlooks the beautifully landscaped gardens spread across many acres of land. The garden is known for housing many plants as well as for its remarkable sculptures and statues. In addition to this, the property houses many water fountains and is a popular tourist spot due to its scenic beauty.
Situated at the bottom of the beautiful Monte Morello, Villa di Quatro is a mansion dating back to the 15th Century. This beautiful villa is three storied and overlooks the beautiful gardens. The interiors of this villa boast of featuring frescoes and murals from different time periods. This luxurious mansion was home to many noble families and has seen famous guests like Mark Twain and Adolph Thiers. The garden in front of this villa is a popular tourist attraction and has a magnificent landscape. This garden features a fountain in the center and dates back to 18th Century.
The villa belonged to the Medici family and Cosimo, Florence's new Duke, began the work on renovating the grounds, he planned an Italian garden with geometric designs, Vasari made the Duke's dreams become reality. At the center of the garden on the Fountain of Hercules and Anteus was placed a marble composition by Bartolomeo Ammannati, which is undergoing restoration. There are two lakes in the garden, with stone sculptures of animals, which stand out amongst the water displays. Today, the villa is the home of the Accademia della Crusca and is not accessible to the public. Admission includes a visit to the Villa Medicea La Petraia.
This 14th-century building was commissioned by Cosimo il Vecchio. Originally owned by the Lippi family, it passed to the Medici family in the 15th Century and the villa saw both the birth of Lorenzo the Magnificent and his death in 1492, as well as the death of his grandfather, Cosimo il Vecchio. The latter declared it his favorite residence and made it the head of the Neo-Platonic Academy. Lorenzo the Magnificent liked to surround himself with prominent scholars of philosophy such as Marsilio Ficino, Angelo Poliziano, Pico della Mirandola and other members of the Academy. Cosimo, meanwhile, transferred his library and some of his collections here, accommodating Ficino in a nearby house. The many alterations during the Medici and Lorenzo periods as well as the many interventions of various owners over the last two centuries have, unfortunately, not left a trace of the original gardens which were an important aspect of the estate. Free visits are available upon requests made to the current proprietor: l'Azienda Ospedaliera di Firenze who have transferred their offices there.
This private villa can only be visited following a written request. The alley running from the entrance gate to the villa itself is lined with cypress trees and although the villa was built in the 16th century, it was completely renovated by the architects, Fontana and Ruggieri for the Capponi family in the 18th century. One of the villa's recent owners was Sir Harold Acton, an art historian who put together his own art collection here; it was subsequently bequeathed to an American university.
This beautiful open park belonged to the Stibbert family who owned the adjacent villa, now home to the Stibbert Museum. It was designed by Giuseppe Poggi in the Romantic style, in accordance with English tastes, and is spread out over three hectares. Distinctive features include an Egyptian temple facing a duck pond, as well as a Hellenistic temple beyond the lemon trees and the stables.