Villa Medicea di Castello

Villa Medicea di Castello, Florence: Address, Phone Number, Villa Medicea di Castello Reviews: 4.5/5

Villa Medicea di Castello
4.5
Points of Interest & Landmarks • Gardens
What people are saying
Brun066
By Brun066
This was one of the main archetypes of the Renaissance garden
Mar. 2019
The Italian Renaissance gardens are, as is known, the result of architects and landscapers who have worked mainly in the Florence and Rome areas. In this context, therefore, the garden models of that era and the ideas behind them can be studied at its best: eg, the perfection attributed - according to the Neoplatonic ideas - to geometric shapes and therefore sought also in the gardens; the will to interpenetrate architecture and green space; the "architectural" role of water, etc. Of course, these features, dating back to the time when Florence was still (but for a short time) a primary center of wealth, and even of philosophical speculation, in Europe, suffer from ongoing decadence, and were therefore only partially preserved in the gardens as we see them today. The Villa di Castello is no exception: the vibrant water devices once animating the garden retain only a weak memory of themselves in the remaining, quiet water bodies; the shape of the Renaissance garden has been preserved only in the central part of it, and has been eroded at the edge by the "romantic" garden, an extension of the original "selvatico" ("wild", ie the wooded part of the garden) built in the nineteenth century. But even so, a visit to this villa is an experience not to be missed. First of all because the garden is one of the first ones created by the Medici in their own villas: it, built around 1540, precedes the even more famous Boboli Garden, and like that it was built by the architect Niccolò Tribolo. It's therefore an example with which the other contemporary gardens, owned by the Medici family or not, must at that time cope. Another strong reason for the visit is, that the garden preserves an outstanding testimony of the original wealth: the "Animal Cave" (Grotta degli animali). Also in it - designed by Niccolò Tribolo but finished by Giorgio Vasari - the original water devices have disappeared; but the architectural and sculptural part remains, consisting of a large underground chamber decorated with multicolored cobbles or larger rocks, and above all decorated with huge stone basins, showing sculptures of both European and exotic animals. Also in this case, certainly the sculptures had hidden meanings; but it's uncertain what exactly these meanings were. Another noteworthy feature is the plenty of citrus trees, scenographically arranged outdoor only from April to October, and showing many ancient and rare cultivars. To me they bring to mind the paintings, depicting dozens of ancient - often disappeared - kinds of citrus fruits, exhibited in the splendid "Museo della natura morta" (ie, Museum of still life) at another former Medici villa, the one in Poggio a Caiano .

Suggest edits to improve what we show.
Improve this listing

Tours and Tickets


4.5
72 reviews
Excellent
39
Very good
20
Average
8
Poor
2
Terrible
3

Brun066
Florence, Italy10,190 contributions
This was one of the main archetypes of the Renaissance garden
Mar. 2019 • Couples
The Italian Renaissance gardens are, as is known, the result of architects and landscapers who have worked mainly in the Florence and Rome areas.
In this context, therefore, the garden models of that era and the ideas behind them can be studied at its best: eg, the perfection attributed - according to the Neoplatonic ideas - to geometric shapes and therefore sought also in the gardens; the will to interpenetrate architecture and green space; the "architectural" role of water, etc.
Of course, these features, dating back to the time when Florence was still (but for a short time) a primary center of wealth, and even of philosophical speculation, in Europe, suffer from ongoing decadence, and were therefore only partially preserved in the gardens as we see them today. The Villa di Castello is no exception: the vibrant water devices once animating the garden retain only a weak memory of themselves in the remaining, quiet water bodies; the shape of the Renaissance garden has been preserved only in the central part of it, and has been eroded at the edge by the "romantic" garden, an extension of the original "selvatico" ("wild", ie the wooded part of the garden) built in the nineteenth century.
But even so, a visit to this villa is an experience not to be missed.
First of all because the garden is one of the first ones created by the Medici in their own villas: it, built around 1540, precedes the even more famous Boboli Garden, and like that it was built by the architect Niccolò Tribolo. It's therefore an example with which the other contemporary gardens, owned by the Medici family or not, must at that time cope.
Another strong reason for the visit is, that the garden preserves an outstanding testimony of the original wealth: the "Animal Cave" (Grotta degli animali). Also in it - designed by Niccolò Tribolo but finished by Giorgio Vasari - the original water devices have disappeared; but the architectural and sculptural part remains, consisting of a large underground chamber decorated with multicolored cobbles or larger rocks, and above all decorated with huge stone basins, showing sculptures of both European and exotic animals.
Also in this case, certainly the sculptures had hidden meanings; but it's uncertain what exactly these meanings were.
Another noteworthy feature is the plenty of citrus trees, scenographically arranged outdoor only from April to October, and showing many ancient and rare cultivars. To me they bring to mind the paintings, depicting dozens of ancient - often disappeared - kinds of citrus fruits, exhibited in the splendid "Museo della natura morta" (ie, Museum of still life) at another former Medici villa, the one in Poggio a Caiano .
Written 21 March 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Kilf68
Kenilworth, UK43 contributions
Not really wanting visitors
Sep. 2018 • Friends
We were a group staying in Fiesole. It is impossible to find the entrance to this place. The general rule seems to be book ahead. Reading reviews on various sites I'm not always sure everyone is talking about the same place. There's no signage. The Villa is not the entrance to the garden. So ignore google maps.

I generally think they don't really want visitors at all. We abandoned our attempts to visit.
Written 23 September 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

VoyagerAimerSourire
Princeton, NJ383 contributions
Garden opening hours can change at short notice! Call ahead preferably.
Aug. 2017 • Couples
We visited in August on a very hot day. Despite having checked in advance that the opening hours worked well, we did not call ahead on the day itself of the visit. Big mistake! When we got there, we found the gardeners locking up the entry gate. The day was so hot, dry and windy that the fire risk at the garden and surrounding area was at its highest warning index. We of course understand it is better to protect such a beautiful garden and its visitors from a fire risk, than to keep it open on scheduled hours. Especially in summer, we would not hesitate to call ahead the garden's office on 055 452 691 to check the opening hours status.
Written 4 September 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Nadya S
Lomonosov, Russia119 contributions
Stunning Garden with Amazing Views
Sep. 2016 • Solo
UNESCO World Heritage Site, an examplary Italian Renaissance garden. Rich in symbolic meanings, abundant sculptures, fountains and plants. Spectacular view over the valley from the upper terrace with a fountain of Appenino. The hydraulic system of the garden uses the same principle of gravity as famous ''Russian Versailles'' - Peterhof. I arrived by train from Firenze Santa Maria Novella station, stop - Firenze Castello, then walked up the hill.
Written 14 August 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Cocciolino2015
Perugia, Italy447 contributions
The gardens are interesting even if March is a bit early in the season
Mar. 2017 • Friends
We were on a day-tour of 3 Medici villas,which is pushing things if you're from Perugia,but the gardens of Villa Castello are impressive and it's easy to imagine what they probably looked like in their heyday. As someone else noted this villa is usually coupled together with a visit to Villa Petraia distant more or less 2 kilometers. Unfortunately it's uphill ALL the way and frankly we're not getting any younger. Our tour was running late (don't they always?) and any form of transportation would have been MOST welcome as well as getting us to the next villa on our time schedule. The custodians at Villa Petraia were impatient and very put out to overrun our time limit.
Written 21 March 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

OlgaDenise
Rio de Janeiro, RJ363 contributions
An Oasis outside Florence´s walls
Sep. 2016
This place is not easy to find. It is outside the Florence´s walls, but I am happy that i did not give up and visited it.

I went by bus and had to walk around 10-15 minutes to find this Villa,

They really take good care of the gardens. Everything was wonderful.

If you have a spare afternoon or morning in Florence, go there!
Written 7 October 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Lena P
Falkoping, Sweden178 contributions
What a garden!
Aug. 2016
This is one of the most beautiful gardens I ever seen. We were completly charmed. A pity it´s so seldom open, so look it up on their own web site before you visit. (A short walk from the bus stop.)
Written 28 August 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

capitanbob
Annapolis, MD183 contributions
Nice, but animal grotto is closed for repair
Jul. 2016 • Couples
Be warned that the grotto is being repaired and there is no indication when it will be done. (It is Italy, after all.)

Formal gardens well maintained. Free and nicer than Boboli, though it's a EU 20 cab from the center of town. hardly anyone there.
Written 18 July 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

OandA-London
London, UK216 contributions
An Italian Renaissance garden for free
Sep. 2015 • Couples
The main garden is typical Italian Renaissance, and as such very impressive. There is also a more wooded area, perhaps more reminiscent of England. The garden is relatively easy to reach from central Florence by taking a local bus which leaves from opposite the SMN railway station, and then walking about 15 minutes from the main road. However, it's best to combine this with a visit to Villa Petraia, and as you can also visit the interior of Villa Petraia I suggest you visit the latter first. The two villas are about a 15 minute walk away from each other so you can in effect visit both as part of a round trip.
Written 10 October 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Ingulinka
Riga, Latvia269 contributions
Lovely park
Jun. 2014 • Friends
Spend late afternoon in this citrus gardens. Didn't go inside. Lovely park with beautiful sculpture in the center. Didn't enjoy personal that was quite angry that we are so late there.
Written 14 July 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Showing results 1-10 of 13
Anything missing or inaccurate?
Suggest edits to improve what we show.
Improve this listing
Frequently Asked Questions about Villa Medicea di Castello