Saturday 13 November 2021

The Medicean Villa dell'Ambrogiana might become part of the "Uffizi Diffusi" project

A new and interesting possibility has arisen recently as part of the "Uffizi Diffusi" project in which works stored at the Uffizi Gallery in Florence will be displayed at other locations throughout the Province. The idea is to make more works of art easily accessible to the public as well as to enhance the touristic attractiveness of the new sites. The Villa Medicea dell'Ambrogiana, which is a splendid Renaissance villa located near Montelupo Fiorentino, might become a major location forming part of the project. Historically, the land and farm buildings, presumably including a villa, belonged to the Ambrogi family (hence the name) and were acquired by the Medici family prior to 1574. The latter built a huge hunting lodge on the site and this later became one of Cosimo III's favourite rural retreats. However, in the 19th Century, the Grand Duke Leopoldo II decided to transform the already crumbling villa into a remand home and then into a psychiatric prison, and this contributed substantially to its decline.

Villa Medicea dell'Ambrogiana

Villa Medicea dell'Ambrogiana

During November 2021, a government minister visited the villa and appeared to support the idea of central government funding to restore the Villa dell'Ambrogiana in order to house there paintings currently mostly in storage at the Uffizi, including some of those recently removed from the Vasari Corridor. The minister noted that "There are at least 100 works that today lie in the deposits and were historically here in the Medici villa dell'Ambrogiana, from the still lifes by Bindi, to the religious paintings by Cinqui that decorated that 'brother' of the Corridor Vasariano that we have right here at the Ambrogiana." There was even a suggestion that restoration could begin as early as 2022. The gardens are already in good condition and the building needs basically to be earthquake-proofed and given a coat of paint.

Montelupo Fiorentino is already well-know for the production and sale of Italian majolica, and is anyway well worth a visit for that reason.

More about Montelupo Fiorentino.

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