Poggio a Caiano

Hotels Poggio a Caiano
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Villa Ambra, as planned by Lorenzo and designed by Giuliano da Sangallo, represents the ideal of a lordly mansion inspired by the new, genial concept for the epoch, interpreted by Giovan Battista Alberti, and was to be the model for later Renaissance villas. The building consists of two floors, with a square layout and simple, symmetrical design. At the center, instead of the traditional courtyard, there is a grand reception hall with frescoed walls by great artists of the time (Pontormo, Allori, Franciabigio, Andrea del Sarto). The other rooms are rationally conceived and also contain prestigious works of art. Lorenzo II Magnifico did not have the good fortune to see his villa completed, because when he died (1492) only a third of it was finished. During the period when Francesco I lived there (16th century) it was also the residence of Bianca Cappella who was his mistress and later his wife. The simultaneous death of the two gave rise to many strange and mysterious legends that stirred the imagination of the people and are still narrated even today. After a long power struggle and many adaptations, at the time of Italian unity the villa became the property of the Savoy family who, in turn, ordered more restructuring. At the present time, the villa, with its garden and park, are the property and museum of the state. In memory of the presence of the Medicis in Poggio a Caiano, where they certainly influenced the history of the town and the customs of its people, every year, in September, the local tourist promotion office organizes a festival called "Assault on the Villa" that celebrates and repeats the munificent gesture of Giovanna d'Austria, the first wife of Francesco I, who made the public fountain spout wine to thank the people for their warm welcome on her arrival there.