The villa is located 8 kilometers south of Prato, approx. 40 minutes drive from the Agriturismo I Pitti. The town of Poggio a Caiano became important when the Medici family acquired ownership of the fortified mansion of the Strozzi family where they built villa “Ambra”.
Villa Ambra, as planned by Lorenzo il Magnifico and designed by Giuliano da Sangallo, represents the ideal of a lordly mansion inspired by the new genial concept for the epoch, interpreted by Leon Battista Alberti, and was to be the model for the later Renaissance villas. The building consists of two floors, with a square layout and simple, symmetrical design. At the center, instead of the traditional courtyard, there is a grand reception hall with frescoed walls by great artists of the time (Pontormo, Allori, Franciabigio, Andrea del Sarto).
The other rooms are rationally conceived and also contain prestigious works of art. Lorenzo il Magnifico did not have the good fortune to see his villa completed, because when he died (1492) only a third of it was finished. During the period when Francesco I de’ Medici lived there (16th century) it was also the residence of Bianca Cappello who was his mistress and later his wife. The simultaneous death of the two gave rise to many strange and mysterious legends that stirred the imagination of the people and are still narrated even today. After a long power struggle and many adaptations, at the time of Italian unity the villa became the property of the Savoy family who, in turn, ordered more restructuring.
At the present time, the villa, with its garden and park, are the property and museum of the state.
From Monday to Sunday
8.15 am – 4.30 pm in January, February, November, December
8.15 am – 5.30 pm in the month of March (daylight savings time 6.30 pm)
8.15 am – 6.30 pm in April, May, September
8.15 am – 7.30 pm during the months of June, July, August
8.15 am – 6.30 pm in the month of October (5.30 pm solar time)
Closing time: the second and third Monday of the month, New Year, 1st May, Christmas
The Monumental Rooms of the Villa are accessible only with guided tours of the security staff. Access every hour, starting at 8.30.
TICKETS: Free admission
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