Abbadia d'Ombrone

Abbazia di Vallombrosa

Villa Arceno

Bardini Garden in Florence

Bernard Berenson

Boboli's Gardens

Il parco dei Mostri di Bomarzo

Villa Bottini

Castello di Brolio

Villa Cahen

Villa della Capponcina

Villa Capponi

Villa Medici at Careggi

Villa di Catignano

Cecil Ross Pinsent

Castello di Celsa

Villa Certano Baldassarrini

Certosa di Pontignano

Villa di Cetinale

Villa Chigi Saracini

Villa Farnese (Caprarola)

Gardens in Fiesole

Villa Gamberaia

Villa Garzoni in Collodi

Villa di Geggiano

Villa Grabau

Villa Guicciardini Corsi Salviati

Horti Leonini di San Quirico

Villa I Collazzi, Firenze

Iris Origo

L'Orto de'Pecci (Siena)

Villa I Tatti

Villa Medicea La Ferdinanda

Villa La Foce

Villa La Gallina in Arcetri

Villa Lante

Villa La Petraia

Villa La Pietra

Villa La Suverana in Casole d'Elsa

The Medici Villa at Careggi

Villa Medici in Fiesole, Firenze

Garden of Palazzo Medici-Riccardi in Firenze

Villa Medicea at Poggio a Caiano

Medici Villas in Tuscany

Villa di Monaciano

Giardino degli Orti Oricellari | Firenze

Orto Botanico, Siena

Villa Orlandini in Poggio Torselli

Il Palazzone

Villa Palmieri and Villa Schifanoiai

Villa Peyron al Bosco di Fontelucente

Palazzo Piccolomini in Pienza

Villa di Pratolino

Villa Reale di Marlia

Villa San Donato in Colle (Bagno a Ripoli)

Villa Santini Torrigiani

Villa di Vicobello

Villa Vistarenni

Il Vittoriale degli Italiani

Gardens in Tuscany

View of Arcetri area (in the hills above Florence)



Villa La Gallina in Arcetri


Arcetri is a district of Florence, in the hills to the south of the city centre. A number of historic buildings are situated there, including the house of the famous scientist Galileo Galilei (called Villa il Gioiello), the Convent of San Matteo and the Torre del Gallo. The Osservatorio Astrofisico di Arcetri is also located here. The church of San Leonardo in Arcetri is the main church of the area.
Galileo Galilei died here on January 8, 1642.

Torre San Gallo

In ancient times it was part of a genuinely fortified castle on the hill, strategically close to Florence. According to some historians, it belonged to the family Galli (or Gallo), who were of very ancient origin. An emblem written in Gothic calligraphy still remains in stone near a plaque located on one of the walls of the courtyard. Taking advantage of their position, the family demanded a toll from people coming down towards Florence from Impruneta. The fortress was partially demolished in 1280 due to the conflict between the Guelfs and Ghibellines. Further damage was inflicted in 1364 following the devastation of raids by Sir John Hawkwood, who ravaged the hills of Arcetri with “iron and fire”.The tower was later sold to Lamberteschi, who proceeded to rebuild it. It was then resold in 1464 to the brothers Jacopo and Giovanni Lanfredini, who lived there up until the end of the fourteenth century, next to the Villa la Gallina. The Torre del Gallo passed to their descendants until the end of the family line in 1941, with the death of Cardinal Giacomo Lanfredini, Bishop of Osimo and Cingoli.Some key moments in the history of the castle were experienced during the siege of Florence (1529-30), when Pier Maria de’ Rossi, Count of San Secondo, the nephew of Giovanni dalle Bande Nere and commander of the Imperial troops, made it their headquarters with his troops hosted by Bartolomeo Lanfredini: from the top of the tower a hail of artillery were directed towards the area of Villa Giovannelli against the fortifications of San Miniato al Monte.In 1872, after several changing of hands, the tower came to Count Paolo Galletti who opened a small museum dedicated to Galileo, in which busts, portraits and heirlooms were housed. Now, they are mostly found in the Museo di Storia della Scienza in Piazza dei Giudici. The count commissioned painter, Gaetano Bianchi to create frescoes in the rooms of the museum.

The present appearance of the tower, however, is the result of the neo-medieval restoration style, which was carried out between 1904 and 1906 from the antiques dealer Stefano Bardini, who bought the tower in 1902 and was also responsible for the Museo Bardini. A court with three balconies (some attributed to Brunelleschi) remained from the fifteenth century structure. Meanwhile the outer building and the tower were a complete reconstruction, although it was possible to use ancient materials retrieved from recent demolitions caused by the reorganization of Florence. A second courtyard was added, as well as a garden, a Renaissance-style loggia, near the entrance in Via Torre del Gallo, and a detached building used as a laboratory stock.

Inside, the eclectic character of the materials re-used from different times and places are more obvious: windows, columns, portals, wells, and antique fireplaces recreate the picturesque surroundings, but are not very convincing, historically. The work was concluded in 1907, as testified by a plaque.The area was abandoned during the period between the two world wars. During the Second World War, the building was occupied by the Military Pharmaceutical Institute, then the Fascist Federation, and after requisition by the British troops, it was set up as a prison camp. It was during this period that some of the decorations were lost or destroyed.

Today the building is privately owned and is being assessed for a number of projects for recovery, some of which offer a cultural destination, for example a large museum dedicated to astronomy (“City of Galileo“), which would become the largest in Europe. It would also help us understand Villa il Gioiello, where Galileo lived and died, as well as the Osservatorio Astrofisico di Arcetri. Despite the project for the tower, it was designated to become residential units. The complex, although is largely an architectural hawk, is not without a certain romantic charm, evident by the successful location overview.

The villa, which is dominated by the tall tower, has a large hall with an octagonal vaulting, and an entry with graffiti, perhaps from the Renaissance. The court attributed to Brunelleschi is surrounded by Corinthian columns and arches on three sides, while the second neo-gothic courtyard is decorated with many coats of arms belonging to the owners of the villa and ones Bardini added.The marble terrace is inspired by the Renaissance Venetian style of Jacopo Sansovino, who adorned the park and some ruins with a monumental fountain.

The great hall on the south side of the park, near the Villa La Gallina, was the laboratory-warehouse Bardini. Left unoccupied, it has now been restored and converted into residences.



Villa La Gallina

Villa La Gallina in Arcetri

Surrounded by cypress and olive trees and offering breathtaking 360-degree views of the city, Villa La Gallina sits on a hilltop just above Piazzale Michelangelo. The estate dates back to the beginning of the 15th Century, with the last major restoration performed in 2005 by the current owners. The property is actually the front section of a former castle that originally belonged to friends of Lorenzo de’ Medici, who commissioned the home’s renowned Danza dei nudi. This is one of only a handful of surviving frescoes created by the Renaissance master Antonio del Pollaiuolo, and its timeless ­elegance graces one of the main floor’s salons. Inside, much of the original architectural detail remains intact, from the stone door and window frames, to the double-height coffered ceilings and carved columns of old Tuscan stone.

The damaged fresco painting of the frenetic Dancing Nudes in the Villa la Gallina near Florence, reveals his fanatical interest in the nude in action.
Pollaiuolo also executed one engraving, the famous Battle of the Nudes (ca. 1465). It is a masterful synthesis of his main artistic ideal: the decorative beauty, in violent posturings, of the male nude.



This article incorporates material from the Wikipedia article Torre del Gallo published under the GNU Free Documentation License.
Wikimedia Commons has media related to Via del Pian dei Giullari.

Walking in Tuscany | Florence | San Niccolo Neighbourhood in Oltrarno

Guido Botticelli, restauratore di affreschi e dipinti murali, Firenze villa la Gallina restauro della pittura a tempera di Antonio del Pollaiolo.

Leolyn Louise Everett, The hills of Arcetri, published 1921 by John Lane, John Lane company in London, New York


[1] Antonio del Pollaiuolo (Italian,1431 –1498) was a renowned Florentine painter, sculptor, draftsman, and goldsmith who was particularly admired for his dynamic and expressive portrayal of the human figure. He carried out a wide range of projects including a series of Hercules paintings (now lost) for the powerful Medici family in Florence, designs for embroidered vestments, monumental tombs for Popes Sixtus IV and Innocent VIII in St.Peter’s Basilica in Rome, small bronze sculptures, and reliefs.
The Florentine brothers Antonio and Piero del Pollaiuolo were born some 10 years apart and started on different paths. Antonio trained as a goldsmith, and as a sculptor in the Ghiberti workshop. Piero trained as a painter, perhaps with Andrea dal Castagno.
Antonio is usually considered the greater artist; he developed design skills which were the basis of the painting and sculpture for which he was famous. Antonio had his own workshop by 1459 and styled himself painter and sculptor. He was, and remains, famous for his work in other media such as designs for embroidery, engraving and enamel-work. His engraving of the 'Battle of the Ten Nudes' was the largest and most influential print of the 15th century, providing models of the male body in action.
The name Pollaiuolo means 'poulterer', which was the occupation of their father, Jacopo di Giovanni Benci.

On a clear day you can see Corsica


Hidden secrets in Tuscany | Holiday house Podere Santa Pia

Podere Santa Pia
Podere Santa Pia, view from the garden
on the valley below

Monte Oliveto Maggiore abbey

Via del Pian dei Giullari

The Villa Capponi garden, commented upon by Edith Wharton and Geoffrey Jellicoe, dates from the seventeenth century. It was extended by Lady Elizabeth Scott after 1882 and by Cecil Ross Pinsent after 1939. Surrounded by steep slopes of vineyards and olive groves, it has that Tuscan combination of architectural refinement within an ordered agricultural setting which exudes an air of dignity and domestic repose. Cecil Ross Pinsent was an English architect who designed and built Tuscan villas and gardens for the English speaking community in Tuscany between 1910 and 1940. He visited Florence with his friend Geoffrey Scott on a tour of Tuscan architecture. Scott became librarian to the American art historian Bernard Berenson and Pinsent worked with him on the Villa I Tatti in Settignano. This provided an entree to a wealthy circle of clients, including Charles Augustus Strong, Alice Keppel and Lady Sybil Cutting.
Villa Capponi, built in the 14th century, was purchased in 1572 by the Capponi family which extended it and enhanced it, turning it into a noble residence. In 1882 it became the property of Lady Scott, daughter of the Duke of Portland, and later passed into the hands of the Clifford family. The building, which is quite simple in layout, was further embellished at the end of the 19th century with the additions of two panoramic loggias, the columns for which were, it seems, taken from demolition work done during the redevelopment of the old city centre to create Piazza della Repubblica. The garden, which comprises terraces on different levels, extends along the Pian dei Giullari hillside, from where the view over Florence is quite breathtaking, and blends in with the surrounding farmland. The first terrace, immediately behind the villa, is a broad grassy area stretching the length of the northern side of the building, on which an ancient wisteria hangs. To the east, on the same level, is the entrance to a delightful secret garden, rectangular in layout and edged in box hedges. Access to this formal garden, separated from the lawn by another box hedge, is marked by two columns surmounted by two terracotta griffins. To the west, on different levels, are another two secret gardens with box-edged parterres and surrounded by high walls with elegantly curving crenellations and earthenware urns. The first of these gardens, which lies five metres lower than the level of the villa, is reached by a narrow flight of steps beside the boundary wall. A wrought-iron gate leads to the second garden, at the centre of which stands a fine stone lily-pool. The recently-built rectangular swimming pool lower down is surrounded by tall rows of cypresses.
[Source: Firenze - Villa Capponi |]

Gardens in Tuscany | Villa Capponi Garden
Address - Pian dei Giullari, 4, Firenze.

Villa Capponi - West Garden Wall

The ancient Via San Leonardo leads up out of the center of Florence on the south side of the Arno river and climbs up into the hills to Pian dei Giullari where one finds the villa in which Galileo spent his last years.

Villa Il Gioiello

Villa il Gioiello ("The Jewel") is a villa in Florence, central Italy, famous for being one of the residences of Galileo Galilei, which he lived in from 1631 until his death in 1642. It is also known as Villa Galileo (not to be confused with the other homes of Galileo found in Florence, which are in Costa San Giorgio, as well as a villa in Bellosguardo).
The name Gioiello was given due to its favorable position in the hills of Arcetri, near the Torre del Gallo. It was an elegant home, surrounded by many acres of farmland with a separate house for workers. It is recorded in the cadastre of 1427 to have been owned by Tommaso di Cristofano Masi and his brothers, who later passed it on to the Calderini family in 1525, where it is first mentioned as "The Jewel". The villa and its estate suffered damages during the siege of Florence in the years 1529 and 1530, whilst the entire area of Arcetri and Pian dei Giullari were occupied by Imperial troops. Calderini I sold it shortly thereafter to the Cavalcanti family, who rebuilt the home with its original simple lines, preserving its elegant look to the present day.
This rented residence with its fields, adjoined the monastery where his daughter, Sister Maria Celeste (born Virginia) was a nun. There are 124 remaining letters from Celeste to Galileo (the replies of the scientist were probably destroyed) which were filed after his death (at the State Archive of Florence) in the inventory of property owned by Galileo. Galileo's books are now held in the Biblioteca Nazionale Centrale di Firenze and are the subject of a celebratory exhibit: Galileiana 2009.

Galileo lived there after his abjuration (1633) and was put under house arrest. Despite becoming blind in 1638, he continued to write some of his most significant works. In 1634 he suffered the loss of his favorite daughter, Celeste, but continued to work on Discourses and Mathematical Demonstrations Relating to Two New Sciences (Discorsi e Dimostrazioni Matematiche, intorno a due nuove scienze), in which he presented his theories on the strength and resistance of materials and on motion.

Shortly after Galileo moved to Arcetri, he received visits from Ferdinando II de' Medici as well as the painter Giusto Sustermans, who painted a portrait of the famous scientist. Other guests were the Ambassador of the Netherlands (Galileo had printed many of his books in Leiden) and the English poet John Milton. He made frequent visits to the students of Villa Castelli, and the young Vincenzo Viviani and Evangelista Torricelli assisted Galileo until his death.
In the centuries thereafter, the house has had various owners: the Del Soldato Family, whose coat of arms is on the facade, and even the nuns of St. Matthew, for which Mr. Otto adorned a plaque on the facade prohibiting “any card or ball game, ruzzola, or any other kind of game" with severe penalties if caught. In 1788 Senator Clemente Nelli had affixed a plaque dedicated to Galileo on the facade, and in 1843 a bust of the scientist was placed in a niche by the owners. In the 19th century, the building underwent further changes, especially on the upper floor.

Villa il Goiello has been a national monument since 1920 and was in private hands until 1942, when it was purchased by the state. Today, it belongs to the Department of Astronomy at the University of Florence, and has undergone a long restoration process since 1986; just recently ending in 2008. It was scheduled to re-open to the public during the celebration of Galeleiano in 2009. The project had foreseen the creation of a "City of Galileo", which also included the Astrophysical Observatory at Arcetri and the Torre del Gallo with annexes, but the project has been suspended and is now under reconsideration.

The villa is in the form of a "U", which encompasses the central courtyard, enclosed by a wall on the street side, facing the farmhouse. The courtyard has a loggia, supported by arch-less Tuscan columns. The facade on the street is very simple, with some rectangular windows with stone frames. Here you will find the bust of the astronomer, with inscription (1843), and another plaque placed in 1942.

Landmarks in the Arcetri area, with the Italian names:

* San Leonardo in Arcetri (Church of Saint Leonard)

* San Matteo in Arcetri

* Osservatorio Astrofisico di Arcetri (Astrophysical Observatory)

* Pian dei Giullari (Square of Giullari)

* Villa Capponi

* Villa Il Giullarino

* Villa di Volsanminiato

* Torre del Gallo (Tower of the Cockerell)

* Villa La Gallina

* Villa Agape-Arrighetti

* Villa Giramonte

* Villa Giovannelli

* Villa Nunes Vais

* Villa Il Teatro

* Villa Pian dei Giullari

* Villa Masieri

* Villa Il Gioiello

* Villa Le Corti

* Villa Pazzi

* Villa Ravà

* Villa Il Roseto

* Fondazione Spadolini

* Monteripaldi

* San Michele a Monteripaldi

* Santa Margherita a Montici (Church of Saint Margaret at Montici)



Villa I Tatti
Parco di Villa Reale di Castello (Villa di Castello) in Florence
Villa di Geggiano