Another Medici villa, the Villa di Poggio Imperiale, stands majestically at the summit of Viale del Poggio Imperiale, a street lined with a stately escort of cypress sentinels. Cosimo I grabbed this huge villa from the Salviati family in 1565, and it remained a ducal property until there were no longer any dukes. Its neoclassical façade was added in 1808, and the audience chamber was decorated in the 17th century by the Sienese painter Rutilio Manetti and others.
The villa is now used as a girls’ school, but English-speaking students offer guided visits to the many of the grand frescoed and stuccoed rooms, and a charming one covered with big and small Chinese-style paintings.
Piazzale del Poggio Imperiale, 1 (1km south of Porta Romana; bus 11).
Hours Sunday mornings 10am-12noon
+39 055 226171
Images by: Sailko, GNU Creative Commons License