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Via di Boldrone 2, Florence → How to get to the Villa
Villa La Quiete is a blueprint of the history of the Medici House, devotion and girls' education. It preserves the historical and artistic heritage linked to the events of the Montalve - a congregation founded in the 17th century by Eleonora Ramirez de Montalvo, which became Sisters in 1939 - who have lived and looked after the Villa for over three centuries.
Villa La Quiete is the property of Regione Toscana, but it is managed by the University Museum System - owner of the historic patrimony it contains - in order to promote the visit programme and better use of the premises.
The tour route is all on the ground floor and is barrier-free.
The restrooms are wheelchair accessible. Visitors with sensory and/or cognitive difficulties can book guided tours with qualified staff.
The visitors, welcomed by the guides in front of the entrance to the courtyard of the Villa, will enter through the Hall of the sixteenth-century masterpieces and then proceed to the church of the Holy Trinity. Once inside the villa, through the entrance corridor, visitors will reach the "courtyard of the lantern", from which they can admire the seventeenth-century pharmacy. The visit ends with frescoed rooms and a stop at the terrace overlooking the Italian garden. Visitors can enjoy from there great views of the town and the hills.
In the room once used as a refectory, there are sixteenth-century altarpieces from the church and the monastery of San Jacopo di Ripoli, in Via della Scala in Florence. Among these are the Coronation of the Virgin by Sandro Botticelli and his workshop and the Madonna with Child and Saints by Ridolfo del Ghirlandaio and Michele Tosini. On the occasion of the reopening, the Coat of Arms of Pope Leo X in polychrome wood is shown for the first time.
The interior of the church houses the cenotaph of the Grand Duchess Vittoria della Rovere (1622-1694), who commissioned the construction of the church itself, created by Giovan Battista Foggini, the sepulchre of the Venerable Eleonora Ramirez de Montalvo, the eighteenth-century Painted Cross attributed to Coppo di Marcovaldo, the silver ciborium by Adriano Haffner, the large canvas by Giuseppe Nicola Nasini and Giuseppe Tonelli on the ceiling and that of Francesco Curradi, above the main altar.
The Interior of the Villa
Passing through the entrance hall, visitors can admire the majolica crater vases made by the renowned porcelain manufacturer Ginori in the late nineteenth century. The covered "courtyard of the lantern" represents the "heart" of Villa La Quiete; the oldest part of the building, although modified in the nineteenth century, below which was the kitchen of the Montalve Ladies who lived in this place for over three centuries.
The seventeenth-century pharmacy (YouTube video in Italian, 3'31'') and the orange-tree garden still bear witness to the link between their contemplative and active life that has always characterized the history of the Montalve Ladies, dedicated not only to prayer but also to the cultivation of medicinal herbs and the preservation of numerous aromatic plants that even today release extraordinary fragrances.
The Frescoed Rooms and the Garden of Anna Maria Luisa de' Medici
Lastly, the rooms painted with frescoes in 1726 by Benedetto Fortini and the garden are still vivid evidence of the presence of the last Grand Duchess of the Medici family: Anna Maria Luisa (1667-1743), Electress of the Palatinate. When she returned to Florence in 1716, she had an Italian garden created at Villa La Quiete, her chosen retreat, from 1724 onwards, for the months of May and October. As well as that, Anna Maria Luisa had the two rooms on the ground floor decorated with frescoes from floor to ceiling. The frescoes are so well preserved to this day that the effect is as stunning as it was back then.
The latest in order of time is the relocation to Villa La Quiete of two precious late baroque works since the 1990s temporarily kept at the Uffizi Galleries (Palazzo Pitti): The Pietà or Lamentation over the Dead Christ, a large wax model by Massimiliano Soldani Benzi (1708), and the Bust of Vittoria della Rovere made of semi-precious stones by Giuseppe Antonio Torricelli (1696-1713) are now part of the tour of Villa La Quiete.