The Medici Villa Belcanto in Fiesole

The Villa Medici in Fiesole is also called Villa Belcanto or the palace of Fiesole. The villa is one of the oldest owned by the Medici and among those who today appear to be the best-preserved villas.

In 1450 Cosimo il Vecchio bought an ancient building above the hills of Florence in the area known as Fiesole. His son, Giovanni de' Medici, decided to commission to Michelozzo the construction of a house by destroying the original building. The villa was therefore the fourth villa owned by the Medici in chronological order after Villa Il Trebbio, the Cafaggiolo Villa and the Villa Careggi. The construction of the villa dates back to the period between 1451 and 1457. Despite having a rough and steep terrain on which to build, Michelozzo was free to create a building ex novo and for some architects Villa Belcanto was the perfect antecedent to the construction of the villa Poggio a Caiano.

The Villa Fiesole is remembered for the Pazzi Conspiracy of 1478. In that year, some members of the Pazzi family planned to poison Lorenzo the Magnificent and his brother Giuliano right in the villa. The attempt failed because Giuliano did not show up at the banquet and therefore the Pazzi had to organize a new plan and killed Giuliano during Mass in Santa Maria del Fiore while Lorenzo was able to escape.

Despite spending more time in the Villa Careggi, Lorenzo de' Medici also loved the Villa Fiesole and often housed artists and writers. In 1480 Ghirlandaio portrayed  the villa in a painting that is now in Santa Maria Novella. In 1671 the Medici sold the villa which passed from owner to owner. In the nineteenth and twentieth centuries the house had various American and English owners before returning in 1959 to an Italian family, the Mazzini Marchi. The garden dates back to the current project of Lady Cutting of the early twentieth century with various terraces and an abundance of water that usually flowering occurs earlier than in the rest of Florence.

A selection of our most requested villas in the area:
Villa Simone Luxury villa sleeping 8 a few kilometres from Gambassi Terme, in the heart of Florence countryside. Garden, swimming pool, hydromassage, Internet connection. Tennis court, riding stable and golf club nearby. Possibility of organising horseback and mountain-bike rides in the neighbourhood. More details
Villa Montespertoli Villa for holidays on the hills of the Florentine countryside. Accommodation for 12+2 people, garden, private swimming pool, hydro massage, Internet connection. More details
Villa San Godenzo Villa with annexed cottage sleeping 6 in Valdisieve, near San Godenzo (Florence). Garden, barbecue, whirlpool swimming pool, air conditioning, Internet connection. A few kilometres from Lake Bilancino and the National Park of Casentino Forests. More details
Villa Anietta Small villa sleeping 6 near Reggello, in Valdisieve, just a few kilometres from Florence. Swimming pool, Internet connection, air conditioning. Cooking lessons, dinners and guided tours are organised upon request. More details