Villa di Castello

The Villa di Castello is one of the Medici villas near Florence, Tuscany, central Italy. Its ideal design appears in a lunette painted by Giusto Utens in 1599. The property was purchased by Lorenzo de'Medici in 1477 on the site of an existing building which he had rebuilt. In the villa he housed Sandro Botticelli's Renaissance masterpieces The Birth of Venus (Botticelli) and Primavera (painting).

The newly rebuilt home was inherited by Giovanni dalle Bande Nere, where his son Cosimo spent lived as a child. After becoming Duke of Florence and marrying Eleanor of Toledo, Cosimo spent as much time as possible at the Villa. In 1537, Cosimo I de' Medici, Grand Duke of Tuscany commissioned Niccolò Tribolo to design Castello's garden and Giorgio Vasari to restore and enlarge the villa. The magnificent Renaissance gardens were to stand as affirmation of Cosimo's personal, and the Medici, power. Hydrolic engineers created a canal system and a hill was transformed into a series of terraces.

The villa gave its name to the Castello Plan, an early city map of Lower Manhattan (New York City) from 1660, which was found in the villa in 1900 and printed in 1916.

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