Monday, June 8, 2009

Villa Medici

Sitting on Pincio Hill is the Villa Medici, which is now home to the French Academy. It became property of the ruling house of Florence once the Medici family died and Napoleon Bonaparte made it part of the French Academy. It is now host to guided tours, cultural events, exhibits and concerts. Its beautiful gardens are much like Pincio Gardens with tree lined streets and many statues. It was rebuilt like this in 1540. Galileo took shelter here when he was under house arrest during the the Inquisition. It was founded by Ferdinando I de'Medici, the Grand Duke of Tuscany and has housed the French Academy since 1803. The beautiful sprawling gardens cover most of the area with the Palace overlooking St. Peters.

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