Friday, August 2, 2013

The Villa La Petraia is one of the Medici villas in Castello, near Florence, Tuscany, central Italy. It has a distinctive 19th century Belvedere on the upper east terrace on axis with the view of Florence. In 1364 the palagio or "palace" of Petraia belonged to the Brunelleschi family. The it was purchased by Palla Strozzi in 1422, then it was bought by te Salutati family and then it was purchased by the Medici family. The Medici family enlarged the holding by buying the surrounding land. In the first half of the 16th century the property passed into the hands of the Medici family. Cosimo I bequeathed it to his son, cardinal Ferdinand, and in 1568 the palagio was enlarged and transformed into a villa by the new owner, who became the grand-duke of Tuscany on the death of his brother Francesco I. The main changes made were to the garden, which, with the addition of large amounts of earth, was set out as three stepped terraces in front of the villa, an arrangement that survives to this day.