In Tuscany there are seven places declared world heritage by UNESCO. Are the historical centers of Florence, Siena, Pienza and San Gimignano, the Piazza del Duomo of Pisa, the territory of the Val d’Orcia and the Villa Medici. Let’s find out these 7 Tuscan beauties that have earned the coveted recognition of the Organization of United Nations.

UNESCO HERITAGES IN TUSCANY – the World Heritage UNESCO in Tuscany are:

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Historical Center of  FLORENCE (FI)

Area: Florence area
Type: city of art
Services: guided tours
Accessibility for disabled: yes

Florence was the first Tuscan site, to be designated a World Heritage Site in 1982. In fact, the city considered the “Cradle of the Renaissance”, the amazing artistic and architectural beauty, is the queen of the arts, culture hearth, thought and even of the Italian language. A rough estimate calculates that about thirty percent of all Italian artistic assets are concentrated in the city. where stands the Cathedral of Florence, the Piazza della Signoria with Palazzo Vecchio, the corridor Vassariano and the Ponte Vecchio with its jewelery shops. August 1944 the Germans during the retreat northward, before abandoning the city undermine all the bridges over the Arno, sparing only the Ponte Vecchio, “respectful” of her beauty.

 


 

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Piazza del Duomo – PISA ( PI)

Area: Pisa area
Type: storical square 11th – 14th centuries
Address: Piazza dei Miracoli – Pisa (PI)
Services: guided tours
Accessibility for disabled: yes

The Piazza del Duomo, or as is usually nicknamed “Square of Miracles”, is world famous for its exceptional concentration of artistic monuments of great significance. Listed among the UNESCO World Heritage Site, it contains some true masterpieces of Romanesque architecture: the Leaning Tower, the Cathedral, the Camposanto and the Baptistery. The so-called Pisan Romanesque “style” was born with the construction of the cathedral and quickly spread to the rest of Tuscany. All religious buildings in the square followed by a sort of mystical path: the Baptistery birth, Cathedral life, death Cemetery. In the square there are also the Cathedral Museum and the Museum of Sinopie. It ‘s definitely one of the most sought after cities of Tuscany by the national and international tourism. The Cathedral Square is’ been recognized as an artistic and cultural heritage of humanity in 1987. The Leaning Tower in 2007 was also vying to be one of the New 7 Wonders of the World in a competition organized by a Swiss company.

 


 

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Historical center  of  SAN GIMIGNANO (SI)

Area: Val d’Elsa (Province of Siena)
Type: medieval village with historical center of 14th century
Accessibility for disabled: yes

San Gimignano is universally famous for its medieval towers that rise over the area and which have earned him the nickname of “the Manhattan of the Middle Ages.” For the characteristic medieval architecture of the old town, which keeps intact the fourteenth aspect, the town has been declared a “World Heritage Site” by UNESCO in 1990. The historic village is still almost completely enclosed by walls dating from the thirteenth century. Overlooking the square and on the main roads there are numerous towers and tower-houses of the ancient mercantile and financial aristocracy, all exceptional structures in number and condition.

 


 

siena centro storico

Historical center of  SIENA (SI)

Area: Siena area
Type: city of art,  square and historical buildings of  13th – 15th century
Accessibility for disabled: yes

The city is universally known for its enormous historic, artistic, landscape and for the substantial stylistic unity urban aspect, a large part of the Middle Ages. UNESCO has conferred in Siena recognition of World Heritage in 1995. In the Piazza del Campo, is objectively one of the most beautiful squares in the world, the heart of Siena’s historic center is over the famous Palio (horse race with traditions secular. the historic center of Siena offers other architectural preciousness such as the Torre del Mangia, the Duomo, the Scala Hospital, fine palaces and other important religious buildings. in the city the headquarters of the bank Monte dei Paschi di Siena, founded in 1472 , the oldest of the world bank.

 


 

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Historical center of PIENZA (SI)

Area: Val d’Orcia (Province of Siena)
Type: city of art, square and historical buildings of  13th – 15th century
Accessibility for disabled: yes

Pienza is the most famous center of major artistic importance of the Val d’Orcia. In 1996 the historic center was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. Equally picturesque is the Gozzante district, the oldest part of the town, characterized by small houses located on the sandstone cliff and overlooking the Val d’Orcia (Orcia valley of the river). It is an outstanding example of a medieval center planned and organized in function of man, of his work and of his free time. Pienza, the “ideal city” as it is usually nicknamed, has its history closely linked to that of Enea Silvio Piccolomini, who became Pope with the name Pius 2th in the 15th century. The pope wanted to transform the small medieval village where he was born, in the papal residence. The project was entrusted to Bernardo Gambarelli, called Rossellino. This is demonstrated by many of the 15th century mansions located along the main street and the Cathedral.

 


 

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VAL D’ORCIA  area

Area:  Val d’Orcia  area  (Province of Siena)
Municipalities: Castiglione d’Orcia, San Quirico d’Orcia, Montalcino, Radicofani

The area of ​​Val d’Orcia, located in the Province of Siena, in 2004 he received the UNESCO award for the beauty of its landscapes and its views can originate high inspirations to the artists during the Middle Ages. the territory of the Orcia Valley consists mainly of a hilly landscape with little accentuated forms and sweets valleys incisions, called “Crete”, and varied vegetation. It includes sites and monuments of historical and artistic importance as its fortress in Castiglione d’Orcia, the Montalcino Fortress,  the Fortress of Radicofani, the thermal baths of Bagno Vignoni and San Filippo Baths and several museums, among which the Municipal Museum and Diocesan of Sacred Art, the Brunello Museum and the Museum of Glass in Montalcino, the Museum of Pienza.

The Val d’Orcia and its picturesque corners have thrilled and inspired by well-known directors and film artists. The director Franco Zeffirelli chose Bagno Vignoni and Pienza for the film Romeo and Juliet. At the Benedictine monastery of St. Anne in Caprena that is cured the male protagonist of The English Patient and director Ridley Scott has turned many outside of the Gladiator.

 


 

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Villas and Medici gardens in Tuscany

In chronological order, the Medici villas and gardens in Tuscany are the recent award that UNESCO has given to Tuscany in 2013. A total of 14 sites, including villas and gardens located in different places that were homes of the Medici, Grand Dukes of Tuscany. The Medici villas are coming rural architectural complexes have in various ways to the Medici family in the 15th and 17th centuries near Florence. As well as leisure and entertainment venues, the villas were the “royal palace” device on the territory administered by the Medici, as well as the middle of farm economic activities of the area where they were.

Subsequently, the list of recognized villas as world heritage.

Castello del Trebbio (Trebbio Castle) (Scarperia e San Piero – FI)
Villa di Cafaggiolo (Barberino di Mugello – FI)
Villa di Careggi  (Florence – FI)
Villa Medici di Fiesole (Fiesole – FI)
Villa di Castello (Florence- FI)
Villa di Poggio a Caiano (Poggio a Caiano – PO)
Villa della Petraia (Florence – FI)
Palazzo Pitti e Giardino di Boboli (Florence – FI)
Villa di Cerreto Guidi (Cerreto Guidi – FI)
Palazzo di Seravezza  (Seravezza palace) (Seravezza – LU)
Giardino di Pratolino (Pratolino  garden) (Vaglia – FI)
Villa La Magia (Quarrata – PT)
Villa di Artimino (Carmignano – PO)
Villa del Poggio Imperiale (Florence – FI)

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Visit to Medici Villas 

TREBBIO CASTLE

castello_trebbioTrebbio Castle

Area:  Mugello
Municipalities: Scarperia San Piero (FI) – locality San Piero a Sieve
Type: villa medici of 15th century
Address: via del Trebbio, 1 – locality San Piero a Sieve (FI)
Phone:+39 055 8458793  (booking)

The villa is located in the area from which it came from the Medici and was one of the first houses they have built outside Florence (15th century).The fact belonged required to Giovanni di Bicci Medici, the patriarch of the family.After his death (1428) his son Cosimo Medici, who loved to hunt in extended seal and restructured the villa architect Michelozzo that made her look like a fortified castle. The villa of the system is preserved and retains the characteristics of a medieval fortification. In the center there is a courtyard with a well and a walled garden. Area inside the Villa Trebbio there are large frescoes and majestic works like the other villas built in the following centuries. This residence, in fact, was generally used by the family as a hunting lodge or unofficial and informal parties. The villa was experienced especially in summer, when the historic center of Florence was too caldo.Nel 1644 was sold to Giuliano Serragli. In the 19th century the houses were demolished leaning against the house to make way for a forest of cypresses. The garden in front of the villa, with roses and box hedges dates back to the 20th century. Currently, it is private property. Being a private residence, the Trebbio can not be entirely visited, but partly yes, in small groups – Maximum 30 people –  by appointment.

CAFAGGIOLO MEDICI VILLA

cafaggioloMedici villa of Cafaggiolo

Area: Mugello
Municipality: Barberino di Mugello (FI) – locality  Cafaggiolo
Type: Medici villa 14th -15th centuries
Address: Via Nazionale 16 – Barberino del Mugello (FI)
Phone: +39 055 8479293
Email :[email protected]
Times: Wednesday and Friday 14.30 to 18.30 Saturday and Sunday 10.00-12.30 and 14.30-18.30
Tickets: € 5,00 full € 2,50 children over 6 years

The castle was built for defense initially, but shortly thereafter was converted into a residence used as a farm. In the 15th century, the main building was renovated and transformed by the architect Michelozzo in sumptuous country house of Medici Cosimo the Elder. The villa, surrounded by a large garden and one of the most famous game reserves, became the favorite summer residence of the Medici family and especially by Lorenzo the Magnificent, who hosted here his literary friends and artists such as Marsilio Ficino and Pico della Mirandola. Next to the villa, in the 16th century, it was built the ceramics factory that produced objects is in current use. A plate produced in Cafaggiolo The factory located at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London.

In the 19th century, the villa underwent some interventions changed in part the original appearance of the building and the garden, which was restructured following the model English alll’edificio Around the stables still exist de 16th century. Inside the villa, the copies are stored in a series of portraits of famous people belonging to the house of the Medici, of the painter Carmine Fontanarosa.

FIESOLE MEDICI VILLA

villa mediciMedici villa of Fiesole

Area: Florence area
Address:Beato Angelico, 2 – Fiesole (FI)
Phone:+39 055 2398994
Times:Visit on appointment
Tickets: € 6,00
Accessibility for disabled: partial

The Renaissance Villa Medici is among the best preserved ones. Built between 1458 and 1461 by Michelozzo, at the behest of Giovanni de ‘Medici, but it owes its fame to Lorenzo the Magnificent, that he inherited in 1469 after the untimely death of his brother Giuliano and made it a center of meetings for artists, philosophers, men of letters. In fact, the Villa Medici is linked to the dramatic act of violence of the Pazzi Conspiracy (1478), when some members of the Pazzi family, Francesco Salviati and Cardinal Girolamo Riario, backed by Pope Sixtus 4th, conspired to get rid of more and more overwhelming growth of the power of the Medici in the Florentine Republic. Originally the plan was to kill the two scions of the Medici family, Lorenzo and Giuliano, during a banquet that they had organized right at the villa in Fiesole through the use of poison destined to the two brothers. But sudden indisposition of Giuliano made vain the company which was postponed to the next day. During commissioning Santa Maria del Fiore, Giuliano was killed, while Lorenzo was able to save himself by repairing rocambolescamente in the sacristy. The villa was the Medici family until 1671. After various owners, in 1772 it was sold to Mrs. Lady Orford. In the 19th century it was owned by the artist William Blundell Spence and in 1911 was bought by Lady Sybil Cutting, wife of Geoffrey Scott writer. In 1959 the villa was purchased by the Mazzini Marchi family, current owners.

The building is rectangular in plan, adorned with windows framed in pietra serena and broad loggias on the scene. The beauty of the building is not based on a medieval type decorations, but on the simplicity of the structure, granting economy, necessity and beauty, and for the first time is made a real and proper “suburban villa”. The geographical location, on a slight slope, has led to the positioning of the villa and garden on three terraces. The first, which is accessed through an avenue of cypresses flanked upstream by a grove of oaks, is composed of large rectangular lawns with potted lemon trees. The garden today reflects mainly the restructuring of 1911-1923 architect Cecil Pinset, who worked on behalf of Lady Cutting, and is in a neo-Renaissance style.

VILLA AMBRA - MEDICI VILLA OF POGGIO A CAIANO

villa poggio a caianoVilla of Poggio a Caiano  – Villa Ambra

Area: Montalbano
Municipality:Poggio a Caiano
Type:Renaissance residence( 15th century)
Address:Piazza dei Medici, 14 – Poggio a Caiano (PO)
Phone.: +39 055 877012
Times: All days 8.15 – 18.30 – closed the 2nd. and 3rd Monday of the month
Tickets:€ 2,00
Accessibility for disabled: partial

The Medicean Villa, also known as “Ambra” is one of the most important Medici residences. The building is the first example of Renaissance architecture that blends the lesson of the classics with elements of the Tuscan country style manor and other innovative features. Commissioned by Lorenzo the Magnificent architect Giuliano da Sangallo around 1480, the villa was always the summer residence of the Medici and, in addition to hosting numerous personalities, was the scene of important events in their dynastic history. In particular, in the building were accepted, before arriving in Florence, the foreign spouses of family members, who here received the homage of the Florentine nobility. For example Joan of Austria, first wife of Francis 1th, and Christina of Lorraine, wife of Ferdinand 1th. Were celebrated here, among others, marriages between Alessandro Medici and Margaret of Austria (1536), including Cosimo 1th and Eleonora of Toledo (1539), Francesco 1th and Bianca Cappello (1579). The latter also found here the death by poisoning.

The villa was the favorite residence of the son of Cosimo 3th, Prince Ferdinand, a great lover of the arts, who made an active cultural center. In the theater, inside the villa, they are often represented comedies written specifically. In one of the rooms it was set up a unique collection called “Cabinet of small works by the most famous painters”.It was a picture gallery that had works by artists such as Dürer, Leonardo da Vinci, Raphael, Rubens etc. On the death of Gian Gastone (1737), the last descendant of the Medici family, the Villa passed to the new Grand Dukes of Tuscany Habsburg-Lorraine, who continued to use it as a summer residence or as a stopping point on their travels to Prato and Pistoia.

With Napoleon’s conquest in the 19th century, the building suffered internal and external changes of the regent Mary Louise of Etruria and then by Elisa Baciocchi Bonaparte, Napoleon’s sister, named Grand Duchess of Tuscany in 1809. The villa it became one of the residences of the Grand Duchess and it seems that, right here, you have consumed an alleged love affair with the famous violinist Niccolo Paganini, on the occasion of the many concerts that the virtuous held in the delightful theater. When Florence became the capital of the Kingdom of Italy, the monarch Victor Emmanuel 2th, famously fond of horses and hunting, he did rearrange the villa, with the construction of new stables. Together with the king there was also the “beautiful Rosina” (Rosa Vercellana), a commoner before the king’s mistress and later his wife. During the Second World War the house was used as a shelter protected by bombing for important works of art from all over Tuscany. The large underground served as a shelter for the population. It is currently state-owned.

Admire the frescoes inside the main body of the villa, the theater and the original part of the furniture. The paintings were begun by Andrea del Sarto, in 1512, and continued by Pontormo, who painted the famous “bezel”, which depicts a scene with male and female deities immersed in a rural atmosphere. The villa is surrounded by a beautiful garden with mature trees. The stables have been transformed into exhibition and conference venues. Inside the villa is also set up the National Museum of Still Life which houses 184 masterpieces of painting many artists of the sixteenth and the eighteenth century, including Bartolomeo Bimbi, Otto van Marseus Schrieck, Giovanna Garzoni, Margherita Caffi, and other.

MEDICI VILLA OD CERRETO GUIDI

cerreto_guidiMedici villa of Cerreto Guidi

Area: Valdarno
Municipality: Cerreto Guidi
Address: Via dei Ponti Medicei, 7 – Cerreto Guidi (FI)
Phone:+39 0571 55707
Times: from 9.00  to 19.00 – closed the second Wednesday of each month
Times:€ 2,00
Accessibility for disabled:partial

It’s a noble residence situated on a hill bordering the Padule. It was built in 1555 by Grand Duke Cosimo I Medici, the castle ruins of the Counts Guidi. The villa was often used both for hunting, both as a stopping point in the frequent travel between Florence and Pisa and Livorno of the Grand Dukes. In 1576 the villa was consumed the brutal murder of Isabella, daughter of Cosimo 1th, by her husband Paolo Giordano 1th Orsini. The woman was strangled as punishment for a possible love affair with the cousin of the spouse. It is said that even today, sometimes you can hear the heartbreaking lament of women. Later the house passed to Cardinal Leopoldo Medici, in 1671, proceeded to an internal restructuring to give a more quiet and residential building structure.

The villa has a compact body building, with two floors, covered by a large hipped roof. The facade is characterized by the simplicity of the decorative elements, reduced to a few elements. The setting is completed by ramps, the entrance staircase attributed to Buontalenti. It houses a number of portraits of the Medici family, a collection of 18th century cabrei, four in the 17th century tapestries depicting the seasons, furniture, wall frescoes from various periods. The current decoration was reconstituted following, as far as possible, the descriptions in historical inventories. In the villa you can visit the room where Isabella Medici was strangled by her husband.

Into the villa there is also the Historical Museum of Hunting and the Territory which displays weapons, mostly hunting and target shooting. Weapons are placed in antique shop windows, while the knives and bladed weapons are in a ground floor room. Among the finest specimens some weapons belonged to the Grand Duke Peter Leopold and Ferdinand 3th of Tuscany.

VILLA FERDINANDA - MEDICI VILLA OD ARTIMINO

Villa Medicea La FerdinandaVilla of  Artimino  – Villa  La Ferdinanda

Area: Montalbano
Municipality: Carmignano (PO) – locality Artimino
Type: Renaissance villa ( 16th century) – Visit on appointment
Address: Viale Papa Giovanni 23th – Artimino (PO)
Phone: +39 055 8751427

The Medicean Villa, also called “La Ferdinanda” or “Villa of the hundred chimneys”, was built by the Grand Duke Ferdinando 1th Medici and it was his favorite residence during the summer. Built between 1596 and 1600, it is considered a masterpiece of the architect Buontalenti. The unmistakable silhouette crowned by the many fireplaces and chimneys, dominates the surrounding area. Grand Duke Ferdinando 1th commissioned the Flemish painter Giusto Utens a series of 17 lunettes, which copied the Medici villas, to be placed in a special room called, precisely, “the Ville.”On the main floor there are frescoes by Domenico Passignano and Bernardino Poccetti with mythological subjects. the central hall decorations, the Grand Ducal apartments, the lodge and chapel are still visible.

Around the villa, it was created the largest Barco Reale, a huge hunting ground enclosed by a high wall for about 50 kilometers of which are short sections, currently passable along the path leading to the Necropolis of Prato Rosello of Etruscan origin. In 1782 the villa was sold to the Marquis Lorenzo Bartolomei and then the Maraini family. Today, the villa houses a congress and hotel center.