Tours / excursions organized by Borgo dei Medici
Close your eyes and imagine going away for a weekend in the company of your partner, far from the worries, routine, and noise of the city...
…now open your eyes and book this package deal: treat yourself to the pleasure of a holiday immersed in the countryside, pampered by the gentle hills of our splendid Tuscany, delighting your eyes with the colours of nature and your palate with the flavours of the dinner that will be served to you in a unique candlelit atmosphere.
And if you are wondering what will happen when you wake up - after breakfast in the apartment you will find a guide waiting to take you on a tour of the majestic Medicean Villa just a stone’s throw from the holiday farm: this is how we will say goodbye to you, happy to allow the memories of the beauty that the past has endowed upon us to accompany you home.
For more demanding guests, on request it is possible to organise sun and moon massages directly in your apartment: the expert hands of the personnel selected by the owner will be a true salve for your body and mind thanks to the relaxing properties of the technique used.
FAMILY WEEK END
Do you think it’s important for your children to be interested in art but you are not sure how to convince them?
We’ll take care of it for you!
Just book our Family Weekend package and you will be able to stay in one of our apartments immersed in the green countryside where your children can play freely and safety in contact with nature while you enjoy the magnificent views surrounding our structure. And in the evening Andrea’s legendary pizza!
The next day, a trip to Florence where a personal guide will be waiting to explain art to your children in a playful manner which will also be interesting for you, in a unique and splendid family learning experience. On our return, Andrea will be waiting to serve us some of his wonderful, wholesome hamburgers.
Before your departure on Sunday, a visit to the Medicean Villa close to the holiday farm, and then homewards bound, all happy, regenerated and reinvigorated by this wonderful experience to tell your friends about!
Minimum: 10 participants.
EXCURSION TO THE MEDICEAN VILLA OF CERRETO GUIDI
Cerreto Guidi, a hamlet perched on top of a hill with its bell tower dominating the surrounding countryside, testifies to the feudal power of the Guidi Counts, and their imposing Medicean Villa, a symbol of the family’s influence over the territory ever since the early sixteenth century. The majestic stairs by Buontalenti, the only scenographic entrance to the courtyard in front of this austere, sombre building, resemble the mighty foundations of Forte del Belvedere in Florence. From on high you can enjoy a spectacular view of the landscape, still filled with traditional crops including vineyards and olive groves, and the mountains enclosing this typical Tuscan valley dotted with villas, farmsteads and country homes. The historic Medicean monument is a true gem of Renaissance architecture which houses artworks of inestimable value decorating rooms containing prestigious antique furniture. There is also a rich collection of weapons, mainly for hunting, that remind of the Medici’s passion for this sport and their frequent hunting trips in the territory that represented an occasion for recreation and enjoyment. Of particular interest is the room linked to the mysterious death of the favourite daughter of Cosimo I, Isabella, whose ghost, according to popular tradition, still wanders about the rooms of this ancient home.
Minimum: 5 participants.
A TOUR OF THE VILLAS AND GARDENS TO THE NORTH-WEST OF FLORENCE
Not far from Florence, just beyond Montalbano, filled with woodlands and historical memories, is a vast territory where the wealthiest Florentine families had erected splendid country homes already in the fifteenth century in order to invest their assets in farming and have a rest from the fatigue of their jobs and city life. These art treasures can be reached from Cerreto Guidi by taking the FI-PI-LI motorway where, before reaching Florence, there is a convenient exit leading to the selected sites.
The first gem we come to is the Medicean Villa of Petraia, located on the slopes of Monte Morello, between Sesto Fiorentino and Careggi. Built on land where a small fortress belonging to the Brunelleschi family once stood, and of which there are ruins of the overhead tower, it was initially the residence of the Medici, Lorraine and Savoy dynasties. The courtyard at the entrance is most impressive with a cycle of seventeenth-century frescoes which celebrate the Medicean dynasty with their splendid colours and Baroque scenes. Inside, the magnificent rooms contain furnishings from the days of King Vittorio Emanuele II, who had chosen this villa as his summer residence. The garden, which offers a sweeping view of Florence, is divided into three sloping terraced gardens where still today we can admire the flowering bulbs, with hyacinths and tulips, a plantation of dwarf fruit trees, potted lemon trees and azaleas, as well as espaliers of roses and orange trees. Spreading out to the rear of the building is a romantic English park, created at the beginning of the nineteenth century by the Lorraine family, with a rich collection of oaks, cedars and plane trees. From Villa Petraia we soon come to the Villa of Castello, another Medicean residence where it is only possible to visit the splendid garden, a sixteenth-century masterpiece designed by Tribolo. With its statues, pools and fountains, this enchanting spot, divided into two terraces, represented an allegory of the power of Cosimo I and the Medicean Principality over Florence and Tuscany. The Animal Grotto is one of a kind, lined with limestone formations, mosaics and shells, and decorated with sculptures of animals in stone and polychrome marble. The great attraction of the garden is the number of citrus trees in the ground and in pots, one of the most important collections in the world due to being descendents of the ancient Medicean varieties. The wild area, meaning the woods planted for hunting, dominates from above, while extending to the east is the English park of the Lorraines. Splendid springtime blooms fill the sixteen large flowerbeds bordered with boxwood hedges, endowing light and colour to the whole garden. Rising up between the two Medicean villas is another imposing residence, Villa Corsini, erected by Foggini for the powerful Corsini family at the beginning of the eighteenth century. The rooms inside, recently restored to their ancient splendour, house a nucleus of interesting statues of divinities, heroes, and philosophers from Roman times, alongside masterpieces of Etruscan art linked to the surrounding territory. The chronological itinerary of the portrait gallery on the first floor illustrates the birth and development of portraits in classical art. The tour concludes with a visit to the most beautiful of all the Medicean residences, the Villa of Poggio a Caiano on the road leading from Florence to Pistoia. Started in 1485 for Lorenzo il Magnifico to a design by Giuliano da Sangallo, it has a harmonious façade of classical inspiration with its arches on the ground floor extending into the landscape, thus revealing a new relationship between man and nature compared to previous buildings. Completed at the beginning of the sixteenth century, the villa underwent several transformations during the following centuries, especially on the inside, and particularly during the reign of Vittorio Emanuele II of Savoy who was responsible for the majority of the furnishings that came from Turin and other Italian palaces. The monumental fulcrum of the villa is the majestic Salon of Leo X with an impressive cycle of frescoes by the most representative painters of Florentine art in the sixteenth century such a Pontormo, Andrea del Sarto, Franciabigio, and Alessandro Allori. The villa, which was frequented by almost all the most important members of the Medici dynasty, is linked to the tragic death of Francesco I and his wife, Bianca Cappello. The second floor that can be visited by booking, houses the new Still Life Museum. The tour ends in the Italian Garden, an imitation of the sixteenth-century garden, and in the English Park created in the Lorraine era and restructured by the Savoy family.
On the way back, we go up the slopes of Montalbano, covered with woodlands, olive groves and vineyards, and finally arrive at the top from where there is an exceptional view sweeping from the Valley of the River Arno to the plain of Pistoia. In the distance, the Apuan Mountains where the unmistakable silhouette of the Medicean Villa of Artimino, the favourite residence of Ferdinando I, is visible on the hilltops with its innumerable walking paths. Descending down the other side of the mountain we return to Cerreto Guidi after travelling through the chestnut and oak forests, olive groves and vineyards scattered amidst the farmhouses, parish churches, villas and archaeological sites.
Minimum: 15 participants.
THE PADULE (MARSH) OF FUCECCHIO
Although small compared to the ancient lake-marshes that once covered a large part of the southern Val di Nievole, the Padule still constitutes a wetland of great natural interest. With its 1800 hectares extending between the provinces of Florence and Pistoia, it houses plants adapted to different climates, such as the Carex elata, commonly called “sarello”, which grows in bushy formations, large white and yellow water lilies, and various varieties of ferns. There are also over 180 bird species, especially herons. Among the mammals there is the Nutria (coypu), a big rodent and native of South America. Guided tours are organised by the Research, Documentation and Promotion Centre of Fucecchio with office in Larciano (PT) that also has an educational workshop. Various, diversified and extraordinary itineraries are offered: natural, historical and environmental, with stop-offs to watch and take photos.
Minimum: 10 participants.
WEEK END ON HORSEBACK
Nature and horse-riding, the perfect combination!
If you agree with us, book one of our weekends - thanks to special arrangements with the riding school “Bella vista”, just a stone’s throw from our structure, you will be able canter around our hills and introduce your children to the wonderful world of equitation. You can feel like true cowboys who at sunset enjoy a good meal with Tuscan wine while sitting on soft straw.
Minimum: 5 participants.
A GOURMET WEEKEND
If you enjoy food and want to put your appetite to the test, book this mouth-watering package!
We will turn on the flavours of tradition just for you, thanks to the know-how of professional chefs, and if you like you can also don the chef’s hat yourself and eat what you cook with the help of an expert.
Minimum: 4 participants.
Your beloved mountain bike is fed up with the usual tracks?
Call us and be surprised by the itineraries scattered all over our hillsides, filled with farmsteads ready to offer you their wonderful produce! Not convinced yet? Ok, get your bike ready and we will lead you over the winding, challenging tracks of the mountains where Leonardo once lived: now it’s up to you and your leg power!
Minimum: 10 participants.