The Palazzo Medici Riccardi Garden

Daniela Cinti

The building in Via Larga (today Via Cavour) was designed by Michelozzo for Cosimo the Elder, who had it built between 1445 and 1457. The Medici’s architect attached a hortus conclusus to the edifice that was surrounded by high crenellated walls; it looked medieval from the outside but was perfectly integrated into the humanistic complex.

The first formal Florentine garden was created behind that crenellated wall, a symbol of Medici power. Michelozzo succeeded in creating an innovative place for Cosimo, from both an aesthetic-ornamental and organizational point of view. The Medici garden in via Larga thus became a model for the city, to be imitated and re-proposed.

In 1540, the Medici family moved to Palazzo Vecchio and the Via Larga complex lost ts importance. It only reacquired its original splendor in 1659 when the Riccardi family bought it. They quickly started renovations on the building and transformed the “large courtyard” into a garden again.

Timetable and address

Via Cavour 3, Florence

  • from Monday to Sunday 10.30 am – 6.30 pm
  • Tuesday and Wednesday closed

Events in the gardens

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