Photo ©Francesco Bolognini
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Historical Buildings
Villa medicea La Ferdinanda
Among the hills of Carmignano, an architectural work of art made by Buontalenti
Villa Medicea La Ferdinanda
Viale Papa Giovanni XXIII, 1, 59015 Artimino PO, Italia

The Medici Villa of Artimino, also known as "La Ferdinanda", is located in the hills of Carmignano, and was built by the will of the Grand Duke Ferdinando I de 'Medici, who entrusted the task to Bernardo Buontalenti: the construction took place in just 4 years, from 1596 to 1600, and contributed to the fame of the Florentine architect.

Ferdinando I and his successors did not actually used the villa very often, until Cosimo III who restored it to its original splendor. Abandoned again for the entire Lorraine period, the Grand Duke Pietro Leopoldo di Lorena was in the end forced to sell it to the Marquis Bartolomei. The Villa then passed from family to family: from the Bartolomei to the Passerini and, in 1911, to the Maraini.

The building has a rectangular plan and a facade characterized by corner bastions, which suggest the image of a fortress, and by a staircase leading to the first floor, built in 1930 by the architect Enrico Lusini, based on a sketch by Buontalenti. The military aspect disappears in the spacious loggia, supported by four columns.

The interior has various halls frescoed by Domenico Cresti known as the Passignano and by Bernardo Poccetti: from the vault of the loggia to the chapel, from the Salone dell'Orso to the apartment of Cristina di Lorena.

The main characteristic of La Ferdinanda is the presence of a particularly high number of fireplaces, one for each room, each with a different shape; it was Ferdinand I, at the time of construction, who asked for this sort of modern "single" heating system to be installed in each room, to prevent the cold of winter hunting sesaon. The Villa is also known as the Villa of the Hundred Chimneys (even if that is not the real number).

The Villa is a private structure, but guided tour and events open to the public are periodically organized.