The Medici family and the Mugello

The family that has dominated the European political chessboard for many years comes from Mugello.

Mugello area is full of traditions and history and is strongly linked to the development of the Medici family.

Even today it is possible to imagine the strong impact of this dynasty on the territory by visiting the villas that belonged to them. Discover this historic family with us!

The origins of the Medici family are in Mugello

The family that dominated the European political chessboard for many years and is linked to the great names of the artists of the Italian Renaissance comes from Mugello.

According to some documents, the Medici family already between 1260 and 1270 bought buildings, houses and land in the Mugello area, precisely between San Piero a Sieve and Cafaggiolo.

A document from the early fourteenth century tells us instead of some properties in Mugello area inherited by Salvesestro de’Medici.

Mugello, already at the time, was a strategic place as it is the crossroads of the connecting roads between the Florentine valley and the Bolognese valley where the Medici family had their own businesses and earnings.

It was from Mugello that the de Medici family began their fortune which took them far beyond the beautiful valleys between Florence and Bologna.

The Medici a family of Popes and Queens

This family of peasant origins manages to make itself known throughout Europe and throughout the Renaissance.

In Florence in the Sixteenth Century the Medici became Dukes of the city and of Tuscany.

Tuscany still shows the echoes of this family in the various villas scattered throughout the area and obviously in all the works of art found in museums.

The family, originally from Mugello, has two popes and a queen.

  • Giovanni De’Medici, son of the Magnificent Lorenzo, who received his first tonsure when he was only seven years old, passed into the world as Pope Leo X.
  • Giulio de’Medici, cousin of Lorenzo the Magnificent, ascended the papal throne with the name of Clement VII.
  • Caterina de’Medici, daughter of Lorenzo Duke of Urbin, even became queen of France.

The Medici family’s love for Mugello, Villa di Cafaggiolo

One of Lorenzo’s favorite villas, when he wanted to retire from his demanding job as a patron and head of the family, is located in Mugello and is called Villa di Cafaggiolo.

Lorenzo the Magnificent, as we have read, played a pivotal role in the education of his family and in the careers chosen by them and it is no coincidence that he had chosen the cool hills of Mugello as a summer resting place.

Villa di Cafaggiolo was elected as one of the intellectual meeting places, Lorenzo hosted exponents of his court of philosophers such as Pico della Mirandola and Marsilio Ficino.

Tradition tells us that the beauty of the Mugello landscape inspires Lorenzo himself in the composition of a poem.

If you are curious and want to immerse yourself like Lorenzo in the wonders of this campaign, the title of the composition is “La Nencia da Barberino”.

Area of origin of the Medici

The Medici were one of the most important lordships in the history of Italy, in one of the most glorious and most splendid eras of Florence. The area of origin of the family of Cosimo I and Lorenzo the Magnificent, as seen, was Mugello, an area north-east of Florence, where we find them mentioned in an ancient document of 1230.

That of the Medici is a very exciting story full of feuds, patronage, betrayals and intrigues.

Mugello has always been a borderland from Roman times, passing through the Middle Ages, passed the most important link that united Florence and Bologna.

The land of Mugello was much loved by the Medici family, their “touch” could be seen throughout the territory.

Their aesthetic taste transpired in some farmhouses, churches and villas, the harmonious distribution of the settlements, in the geometric taste of the woods and fields and in the rational canalization of the water.

Itinerary to discover the Mugello dei Medici

The route we recommend to discover the traces of the Medici family in the Mugello touches the municipalities of Vaglia, San Piero a Sieve, Barberino di Mugello and Scarperia.

Passing through the Medicean Park of Pratolino to arrive at the Castello del Trebbio, located on a hill from which you can admire a splendid panorama. Do not miss to visit the Palazzo dei Vicari and the Medici Fortress of San Martino.

From here you can walk around its ancient walls and enjoy the wonderful ancient village.

Some historical marvels not to be missed

The first marvel to visit is the Medici Fortress of San Martino a Sieve.

The Medici wanted its construction on 30 June 1569, its completion probably took place in the last decade of the 1500s.

It is a very imposing fortress characterized by an irregular circuit of curtains with intervals of seven bulwarks.

This fortress extends for about a mile, the keep, system in an elevated position, is called “Il Cavaliere a Cavallo”.

The quarters of the castellan and the garrison were located inside the fortress. Inside you can also find a chapel, in one of the rooms of the castellan you can admire a beautiful sixteenth-century fireplace and a huge Medici coat of arms, all well preserved.

The basements are also very effective, currently the whole structure is under renovation.

The Palazzo dei Vicari, built in the fourteenth century, has undergone various transformations and restorations over the centuries.

On its facade are collected the Medici coats of arms, inside it houses the Museo dei Ferri Taglienti.

Furthermore, since 2016 access to Brunelleschi’s Clock Room has been opened which can be reached via wooden stairs, from here you can reach the bell and enjoy a breathtaking view.

Villa di Cafaggiolo and Mugello are places to visit in all seasons

Mugello was not visited by the rich family of Florence only during the summer.

Cosimo I, Duke of Florence, added a large hunting reserve to the Villa di Cafaggiolo and this became the autumn favorite place of his sons Francesco and Ferdinando.

If you are intrigued by the history of this great family and like them you want to find inspiration or simply relax from city commitments, come and visit us in Mugello, we are waiting for you in our beautiful Villa Campestri and relax is guaranteed!

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