Villa Demidoff

Villa Demidoff Park

Villa Demidoff Park

 Near Florence, there are many villas with marvellous gardens that owned in the past to the Medici family that is the one that governed Tuscany during the Renaissance.

Every villa was the favourite of one, or more than one, member of the family. Both villas and gardens were always projected from well known architects because they should have to represent the power and the importance of the Medici.

Villa Demidoff and it’s park were projected by Bernardo Buontalenti for the will of Francesco I as Paradise for his favourite Bianca Cappello that will became his wife later.

This villa was called the “meraviglie”, the marvel. It was built with the new concept to surprise foreign important guests of the family and of the State of Tuscany. It had hundreds of water plays and jokes, automas moved by the power of water, lakes and fountains.

In the park there are lots of buildings, the old “posta”, the farm, the “limonaia”, some other farm around the park and the new villa where the last princess of the Demidoff family lived when her  family was the owner, unfortunately the original one built for the Medici was destroyed because of the water main that were under the villa and that  made the foundations unsafety.

The most important monument that we still can admire is the Jant of the Apennines projected by Giambologna.

There is an particular sense in the flow of the water in the park: the river Mugnone (that corresponds to the first fountain), coming from the Apennines and from Mugello, the region of Tuscany where the Medici family were from, is guided to the Jant of the Apennines that rules the water. The Jant represents the power of the family, he pushes down the head of a big drake (… the enemies of the family) and rules the flow of the water deciding if it will be used for the garden, for the water plays, for Medici’s pleasure or if the flow will be directed to the fields for the peasants to use it.

The garden is marvellous and special, you can walk around discovering hidden statues and suggestive perspectives with a spectacular view towards florentine hills of Fiesole, relaxing and having nice time far from florentine summerhot.

The villa is located in Pratolino (Vaglia) and it is reachable with the city bus from Florence or with the SITA bus from the nearby Mugello region. Pay attention to the timetable: the park and the villa are opened only for a part of the year. Double chek it at the tourist office.

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