At a palace at the site, Lorenzo di Medici had used structures as a school and academy of arts (the Accademia degli Orti Medicei), where the likes of Pico della Mirandola, Lorenzo de Credi, Francesco Granacci, and Michelangelo frequented. When Piero de Medici was exiled in 1494, the villa was sacked.
In 1568-1574, the Francesco I de' Medici, Grand Duke of Tuscany and his potential half-brother Don Antonio de Medici commissioned Bernardo Buontalenti, to reconstruct the palace as a casino, a city villa, as it was sited at the Gardens of San Marco. Gherardo Silvani may also have played a role in the design. The palace was planned as a laboratory for scientific experimentation, in 1588 it became the seat of the Opificio delle Pietre Dure. On the death of Francesco I, in 1587 the palazzo was inherited by Antonio who took up residence here in 1597, commissioning numerous works for the rooms and garden which hosted sculptural groups by Giambologna.
The palace has been frescoed (1621-1623) by teams of artists including Anastasio Fontebuoni, Michelangelo Cinganelli, Fabrizio Boschi, Matteo Rosselli, Ottavio Vannini, Bartolomeo Salvestrini, Giovanni Battista Vanni, Jacopo Confortini, Domenico Pugliani and Jacopo Vignali. Filippo Tarchiani, in 1623, decorated the chapel with paintings depicting the Life of San Giuseppe (restored in 1967).
Inside the palazzo, don Antonio created a research laboratory, known as the Fonderia, and assembled various scholars interested in chemical and alchemy. The library is now hosted by the Biblioteca Nazionale Centrale di Firenze (BNCF).
After the Medici, the building played various roles, barracks, customs house, ministry of finances, finally court of appeals until 2012.
The exterior walls, windows, and portals are decorated with a whimsical array of eccentricities, a defining feature of Mannerist architecture.
Don Antonio de' Medici (29 August 1576 – 2 May 1621) was the only son of Francesco I de' Medici, Grand Duke of Tuscany and his mistress Bianca Cappello. He was a minor figure at the Grand Ducal Medici court.Averardo de' Medici
Averardo de' Medici III (1320-1363), also known as Everard De Medici, was the son of Salvestro de' Medici (died 1346), "il Chiarissimo" (English meaning "the very clear.") and the father of three children: Giovanni, Francesco, and Antonia. Giovanni di Bicci de' Medici would later become the first historically significant member of the Medici family of Florence and the founder of the Medici Bank.
He was named after the legendary knight Averardo, from whom the Medici claimed descent. He was second cousin of Salvestro de' Medici.Giuliano de' Medici
Giuliano de' Medici (25 March 1453 – 26 April 1478) was the second son of Piero de' Medici (the Gouty) and Lucrezia Tornabuoni. As co-ruler of Florence, with his brother Lorenzo the Magnificent, he complemented his brother's image as the "patron of the arts" with his own image as the handsome, sporting, "golden boy."Giuseppe de' Medici, 10th prince of Ottaiano
Giuseppe de 'Medici of Ottajano, Prince of Ottajano (Naples, 7 January 1843 - Naples, 9 June 1894) was an Italian noble and courtier.Giuseppe de' Medici, 8 Prince of Ottajano
Giuseppe de 'Medici of Ottajano, Prince of Ottajano (21 January 1803 – 1 January 1874) was an Italian noble and Sicilian politician from Naples.Jacopo Vignali
Jacopo Vignali (September 5, 1592 – August 3, 1664) was an Italian painter of the early Baroque period.
Vignali was born in Pratovecchio, near Arezzo, and initially trained under Matteo Rosselli. He painted the ceiling fresco of the Love of the Fatherland and Jacob's dream for the Casa Buonarroti in Florence. In 1616 he entered the Accademia del Disegno in Florence. In the 1620s, he painted the Investiture of St Benedict for the Confraternità di San Benedetto Bianco.
In 1622–23 he also contributed to fresco cycles for the Medici at the Casino Mediceo di San Marco in Florence, and at the Villa di Poggio Imperiale. Among his pupils were Domenico Bettini, Romolo Panfi, Alessandro Rosi, and Carlo Dolci.Medici Vase
The Medici Vase is a monumental marble bell-shaped krater sculpted in Athens in the second half of the 1st century AD as a garden ornament for the Roman market. It is now in the Uffizi Gallery in Florence.Medici villas
The Medici villas are a series of rural building complexes in Tuscany which were owned by members of the Medici family between the 15th century and the 17th century. The villas served several functions: they were the country palaces of the Medici, scattered over the territory that they ruled, demonstrating their power and wealth. They were also recreational resorts for the leisure and pleasure of their owners; and, more prosaically, they were the centre of agricultural activities on the surrounding estates. In 2013, the Medici villas were added to UNESCO's World Heritage list.Michele de' Medici di Ottajano
Michele de 'Medici of Ottajano, Prince of Ottajano (Naples, 11 May 1823 - Naples, 22 February 1882) was an Italian noble and politician.Palazzo Vecchio de’ Medici, Pisa
The Palazzo Vecchio de’ Medici, also called the Palazzo della Prefettura is a Gothic revival-style palace located on Piazza Giuseppe Mazzini #7, in the city of Pisa, region of Tuscany, Italy.Palazzo delle Vedove
The Palazzo delle Vedove (Italian for Widows' Palace) is a palace in Pisa, Tuscany, Italy.
The palace, built in the 12th–14th centuries, is sited land which in antique times was the domus of the Bocci family of Pisa. Detail of the medieval edifice can still be seen in the exterior, including a marble quadruple mullioned window partially covered by a rectangular window. On one of the side was once a portico.
The palace was largely renovated in the 16th century, and was subsequently used to house the "widows" of the Medici family. Two covered passages connected the edifice to the Torre De Cantone and then to the church of San Nicola, where the gentlewomen could attend the mass without passing in the streets.Princes of Ottajano
The Princes of Ottajano (or Ottaiano) are a cadet branch of the ducal dynasty of Tuscany. Along with the Veronese Medici Counts of Caprara, and Gavardo, they make up the last and closest descendants to the main line of the House of Medici.Villa La Petraia
Villa La Petraia is one of the Medici villas in Castello, Florence, Tuscany, central Italy. It has a distinctive 19th century belvedere on the upper east terrace on axis with the view of Florence.Villa Madama
Villa Madama is a prominent rural house or villa built during the Renaissance.
The villa situated half way up the slope of Monte Mario to the west of Rome, Italy, a few miles north of the Vatican, and just south of the Foro Olimpico Stadium. Even though incomplete, this villa with its loggia and segmented columned garden court and its casino with an open center and terraced gardens, was highly influential for subsequent architects of the High Renaissance.Villa Medicea L'Ambrogiana
The Villa L'Ambrogiana was a rural palace or villa built during the late-renaissance by Ferdinand I de' Medici; it is located at the confluence of the rivers Pesa and Arno, in the municipality of Montelupo Fiorentino.Villa Medici at Careggi
The Villa Medici at Careggi is a patrician villa in the hills near Florence, Tuscany, central Italy.Villa Medici in Fiesole
The Villa Medici is a patrician villa in Fiesole, Tuscany, Italy, the fourth oldest of the villas built for the Medici family. It was built between 1451 and 1457.Villa di Montevettolini
The Villa di Montevettolini is a Medici villa in the comune of Monsummano Terme, Tuscany, central Italy.Villa di Pratolino
The Villa di Pratolino was a Renaissance patrician villa in Vaglia, Tuscany, Italy. It was mostly demolished in 1820. Its remains are now part of the Villa Demidoff, 12 km north of Florence, reached from the main road to Bologna.