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One more Italian site made the Unesco World Heritage list: Medici Villas and Gardens in Tuscany. Twelve villas and two pleasure gardens spread across the Tuscan country side make up this site which bears testimony to the influence the Medici family exerted over modern European culture through its patronage of the arts.

Built between the 15th and 17th centuries, they represent an innovative system of rural construction in harmony with nature and dedicated to leisure, the arts and knowledge. The villas embody an innovative form and function, a new type of princely residence that differed from both the farms owned by rich Florentines of the period and from the military might of baronial castles. The Medici villas form the first example of the connection between habitat, gardens, and the environment and became an enduring reference for princely residences throughout Italy and Europe.

Their gardens and integration into the natural environment helped develelop the appreciation of landscape characteristic Humanism and the Renaissance.

Villa di Cafaggiolo (Barberino di Mugello), Villa Il Trebbio (San Piero a Sieve), Villa Medici di Fiesole (Fiesole), Villa di Poggio a Caiano (Prato),  Palazzo di Seravezza (Lucca), Villa La Magia (Quarrata, Pistoia), Villa di Artimino (Carmignano, Prato).

The World Heritage List now numbers 981 in 160 States Parties to the World Heritage Convention. Fiji and Qatar had their first sites inscribed during the present session. The List numbers 759 cultural, 193 natural and 29 mixed properties.




Boboli Gardens by Sailko