In a zone rich in finds of the Etruscan civilization that daily comes to the light, in front of the medieval suburb with his Romanesque Parish of the XII century, the Villa Medicea of Artimino rises.

The surrounding territory does it departs of that that was "Bandita Medicea" that from the necks of Signa it came thin in Val di Nievole, near Mountain Vettolini. It was Cosimo I to purchase within the 1546 grounds in the zone of Artimino, doing, subsequently, to fence in the territory from a circuit of boundaries along 32 miles and constituting, so, the «Barco Reale».

After the death of Cosimo I (1574) and of Francesco I (1587), the estate passed to the Granduca Ferdinando who wanted to add to the great "medicee"villas that adorned the Tuscan hills from Florence up to Pisa, the jewel of Artimino.

The Villa of Artimino was initiated December 16th 1596 and ended in 1600.

The construction was commissioned to the Buontalenti and remembers, in the great massive structure of volumes and with its strong angular tower-bastions, a field of particular specialization really of the great architect Florentine.

The synthetic taste of the volumes clearly defined extends at times also him inside the villa with its saloons and the succession of the rooms with ceiling at times or to beam. Few you sprout him decorative fixed, what the frescos of the loggia, of the Chapel, the backgrounds of the real apartments, of the «bath», and the series of 14 fanlights which represent the most greater villas medicee (fanlights, today, to the Florentine Topographical Historical Museum) work of Giusto d’ Utens ( † 1609 ).

The decoration of the Loggia is work of the Passignano (Domenico Cresti - 1588 ca. - 1638) that it painted in August-September of 1599, as well as the backgrounds in the Saloon of the Villas and in the apartments adjacent to west. Also the Chapel, except the fresco of the altar attributed to the Nasini, it seems to be of the Passignano. The so says «shelter of the poggiolo», it is, it seems, work of the Poccetti (1548-1612), great decorator to grotesque.

To still notice the «sensibility of certain details in stone: the great fireplaces that hold up the coat of "mediceo" arms , the angular stools that place side by side the windows, the concave ovals above the principal doors that owed once to welcome busts. It applies in these details the sign of the "buontalentiane" "eccentricities" (she writes Suzanne Brown): tense arabesques in stone, masks etc., but subordinated all to a strong geometric scheme. As the chimney pots that revived the solemnity of the underlying construction, sprout him decorative in the inside they serve to give outlet to the imagination», while from the Villa the vision of the vast lowland that extends him from Florence to Pistoia races and, on the other side of the hill, it discovers the course of the Arno toward Montelupo and Pisa to valley of the fields, cultivated to life and ulivi, of the «Ferdinanda».

In an enchanting spot in Tuscany, nestled between Florence, Prato and Vinci is the land of Carmignano - home of the famous wine of the same name.
It is here that the edition of the Medici Festival of Artimino will take place, in July and August .

On the grounds of the splendid villa that Bernardo Buontalenti built between 1596 and 1600 for the Grand Duke of Tuscany Ferdinando de' Medici I, the Poetry, Songs, Music and Dance of the Golden Age of Italian and Florentine Art (16th and 17th centuries) shall once again come alive - performances further enhanced by period costumes inspired by the Italian art of the era.   A grand MEDICI CELEBRATION will bring the festival to a close.

Annibale Gianuario




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