This year, Italy celebrates the 500th anniversary of the birth of Catherine & Cosimo I de’ Medici of the famous Medici dynasty. A programme of special anniversary events will take place in Italy across the summer, including new exhibitions, guided tours and theatrical performances. To mark this occasion, Sardatur Holidays – the UK’s leading Italian holiday specialist – has created an exclusive five-night Medici-themed holiday package, In the Footsteps of the Medici.
The Medici family ruled over 15th century Renaissance Italy for three centuries, leaving an extraordinary legacy. Born only a few weeks apart in 1519, Cosimo I de’ Medici and Catherine (Caterina) de’ Medici influenced the Renaissance politically, historically and culturally. Cosimo I de’ Medici became the first Grand Duke of Tuscany and Catherine de’ Medici the most powerful woman in 16th century Europe.
The Medici touch can be felt all over Italy from UNESCO Heritage-listed palaces, villas and gardens to celebrated works of art and architecture that are a result of their patronage. The five-night trip combines the most famous Medici sites in Tuscany and Rome, stays at two of Italy’s finest luxury hotels built by the family, and also visits a selection of the Medici Netflix series filming locations.
The trip starts in Pisa, where guests will discover Tuscany’s famous Medici Villas… from the Medici Villa della Petraia, a typical country residence and the refuge of the Grand Dukes of Tuscany, to the Medici Villa di Castello, one of the family’s oldest country residences and a favourite of Cosimo I de’ Medici.
Next stop is Florence, widely considered to be the “Heart of the Medici”, where The family ruled the city throughout the Renaissance. A private tour of the city to discover the Medici legacy includes the Medici chapels within the Basilica of San Lorenzo, which are the eternal resting place of the Medicis; Palazzo Medici, the residence of Cosimo the Elder; and Santa Maria del Fiore, the religious centre of the city topped with the gold Medici ball commissioned by Lorenzo. Some of the greatest Medici works of art can be found in Florence’s celebrated museums, including the Uffizi, the Palatine Gallery, the Treasury of the Grand Dukes and the Galleria dell’ Accademia.
The Tuscan tour also includes lunch and wine-tasting in Montepulciano, a Medieval hilltop town in Siena and filming location for Medici The Magnificent. And a visit to Pienza which was used as the set location for Cosimo de’ Medici’s wedding in the Netflix series.
The trip concludes in the great capital of Rome, where guests will visit The Villa Medici at the bottom of the famous Spanish steps, which was built by Ferdinando I de’ Medici.
Across the five-night trip, guests will stay at two of Tuscany’s finest hotels, both built by the Medici family:
- The Artimino Estate, a 700 hectare estate nestled in the Tuscan countryside, is home to the majestic villa ‘La Ferdinanda’ built in 1596 by Ferdinando I de’ Medici and now a UNESCO heritage site. Leonardo da Vinci also spent some time at the villa. Following a tour of the estate, its olive groves and vineyards, guests will enjoy a wine-tasting and lunch in the grounds.
- The five star Fonteverde Tuscan Resort & Spa, a member of the Leading Hotels of the World, is a historical palace built in the 17th Century by the Medici Family. The spa and wellness retreat is set on top of natural hot springs giving therapeutic properties and offers a range of treatments, incorporating traditional and contemporary philosophies.
Sardatur Holidays ‘In the Footsteps of the Medici’ five-night package starts from £2,710 per person, including British Airways flights from London to Pisa and Rome to London. Accommodation comprises three nights at Artimino and two nights at Fonteverde Spa Resort, on a bed and breakfast basis. Private airport transfers. The package includes 1 wine tasting and lunch at Artimino, 1 wine tasting and lunch at Pienze and private guided tours of cities and attractions as per the itinerary.
Book with Sardatur Holidays by calling 0208 973 2292 or visit: www.sardatur-holidays.co.uk/blog/medici-the-magnificent/