The Villa Medici is an architectural complex centred on the villa whose gardens are contiguous with the larger Borghese gardens, on the Pincian Hill next to Trinità dei Monti in Rome. Villa Borghese is a large landscape Garden in the naturalistic English manner in Rome, containing a number of buildings museums (see Galleria Borghese The Pincian Hill ( Italian: Pincio, from Latin Mons Pincius) is a Hill in the northeast quadrant of the historical center of Rome Trinità dei Monti (also called Santissima Trinità al Monte Pincio, Trinità del Monte, or Holy Trinity on Pincio Hill) is a famous church in Rome Rome ( Roma ˈroma Roma is the capital city of Italy and Lazio, and is Italy's largest and most populous city with more than 2 The Villa Medici, founded by Ferdinando I de' Medici, Grand Duke of Tuscany, has housed the French Academy in Rome since 1803. Ferdinando I de' Medici Grand Duke of Tuscany ( 30 July 1549 &ndash 17 February 1609) was Grand Duke of Tuscany from 1587 to 1609 The French Academy in Rome (Académie de France à Rome is an Academy located in the Villa Medici, within the Villa Borghese, on the Pincio (Pincian Hill A musical evocation of its garden fountains features in Ottorino Respighi's Fontane di Roma. For the astronomer see Lorenzo Respighi (1824—1889 For the crater named after Lorenzo Respighi see Respighi (crater. See also Fountains in Rome Fontane di Roma ( English "Fountains of Rome" is a 1916 work by the Italian Composer
In Antiquity, the site of the Villa Medici was part of the gardens of Lucullus, which passed into the hands of the Imperial family with Messalina, who was murdered in the villa. The Gardens of Lucullus ( Horti Lucullani) were an ancient patrician villa on the Pincian Hill on the edge of Rome; they were laid out by Lucius Licinius
In 1564, when the nephews of Cardinal Giovanni Ricci of Montepulciano acquired the property, it had long been abandoned to viticulture. The sole dwelling was the Casina of Cardinale Marcello Crescenzi, who had maintained a vineyard here and had begun improvements to the villa under the direction of the Florentine Nanni Lippi, who had died however, before work had proceeded far. In Architecture a pavilion (from French, "pavillon" from Latin "papilio" has two main significations The new proprietors commissioned Annibale Lippi, the late architect's son, to continue work. Interventions by Michelangelo are a tradition. Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni Two biographies were published of him during his lifetime One of them by Giorgio Vasari, proposed that he was the pinnacle of all
In 1576 the property was acquired by Cardinal Ferdinando de' Medici, who finished the structure to designs by Bartolomeo Ammanati. Ferdinando I de' Medici Grand Duke of Tuscany ( 30 July 1549 &ndash 17 February 1609) was Grand Duke of Tuscany from 1587 to 1609 Bartolomeo Ammanati ( June 18 1511 - April 13 1592) was a Florentine Architect and sculptor. The Villa Medici became at once the first among Medici properties in Rome, intended to give concrete expression to the ascendancy of the Medici among Italian princes and assert their permanent presence in Rome. Under the Cardinal's insistence, Ammanati incorporated into the design Roman bas-reliefs and statues that were coming to sight with almost every spadeful of earth, with the result that the facades of the Villa Medici, as it now was, became a virtual open-air museum. A series of grand gardens recalled the botanical gardens created at Pisa and at Florence by the Cardinal's father Cosimo I de' Medici, sheltered in plantations of pines, cypresses and oaks. Cosimo I de' Medici (June 12 1519 &ndash April 21 1574 was Duke of Florence from 1537 to 1574 reigning as the first Grand Among the striking assemblage of Roman sculptures in the Villa were some one hundred seventy pieces bought from two Roman collections that had come together through marriage, the Capranica and the della Valle collections.  Three works that arrived at the Villa Medici under Cardinal Fernando, ranked with the most famous in the city: the Niobe Group and the Wrestlers, both discovered in 1583 and immediately purchased by Cardinal Ferdinando, and the Arrotino. The Arrotino (Italian -) the Scythian, the knife-sharpener, or the Apollo and Marsyas is a Hellenistic-Roman When the Cardinal succeeded as Grand Duke of Tuscany in 1587, his elder brother having died, he satisfied himself with plaster copies of his Niobe Group, in full knowledge of the prestige that accrued to the Medici by keeping such a magnificent collection in the European city whose significance far surpassed that of their own capital. The rulers of Tuscany have varied over time sometimes being Margraves the rulers of handfuls of border counties and sometimes the heads of the most important family  The Medici Vase entered the collection at the Villa, followed by the Venus de' Medici by the 1630s; the Medici sculptures were not removed to Florence until the eighteenth century. 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 The Venus de' Medici or Medici Venus is a lifesize Hellenistic marble sculpture depicting Then the antiquities from the Villa Medici formed the nucleus of the collection of antiquities in the Uffizi, and Florence began to figure on the European Grand Tour. The Uffizi Gallery (Galleria degli Uffizi one of the oldest and most famous Art Museums in the world is housed in the Palazzo degli Uffizi, a The Grand Tour was the traditional travel of Europe undertaken by mainly upper-class European young men of means
Like the Villa Borghese that adjoins them, the Villa's gardens were far more accessible than the formal palaces such as Palazzo Farnese in the heart of the city. For other palaces with this name see Palazzo Farnese (disambiguation. For a century and a half the Villa Medici was one of the most elegant and worldly settings in Rome, the seat of the Grand Dukes' embassy to the Holy See. When the Medici became extinct in the male line in 1737, the villa passed to the house of Lorraine and, briefly in Napoleonic times, to the Kingdom of Etruria. The rulers of Lorraine have held different posts under different governments over different regions The Kingdom of Etruria (Regno di Etruria was a kingdom comprising the larger part of Tuscany which existed between 1801 and 1807 In this manner Napoleon Bonaparte came into possession of the Villa Medici, which he transferred to the French Academy at Rome. Napoleon Bonaparte (15 August 1769 – 5 May 1821 was a French military and political leader who had a significant impact on the History of Europe. The French Academy in Rome (Académie de France à Rome is an Academy located in the Villa Medici, within the Villa Borghese, on the Pincio (Pincian Hill Since then it has housed the winners of the prestigious Prix de Rome, under distinguished directors like Ingres and Balthus. This article concerns the French government prize For similarly named prizes aimed at other countries' nationals see Prix de Rome (disambiguation. Balthasar Kłossowski de Rola ( February 29, 1908 in Paris &ndash February 18, 2001 in Rossinière, Switzerland Ferdinando de' Medici had a studiolo, a retreat for study and contemplation, built to the north east of the garden above the Aurelian wall. Now these rooms look onto Borghese gardens but would then have had views over the Roman countryside. These two rooms were only uncovered in 1985 by the restorer Geraldine Albers: the concealing whitewash had protected and conserved the superb fresco decoration carried out by Jacopo Zucchi 1576 and 1577.