The Orchestra della Toscana’s “Enchanted Villas and Gardens” summer music series will continue on Saturday, June 17 with a concert in the garden of Villa Poggio a Caiano starting at 9:30 pm. ORT musician Daniele Giorgio will be the concertmaster and violin soloist in a performance featuring the works of Nino Rota and Antonio Vivaldi. Admission is €10.
Classical composer Nino Rota, who is represented with his 1964 piece Concerto for Strings, also won a Oscar for Best Original Score for The Godfather. An interpretation of Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons rounds out the program
All of the people of lived at the Villa Ambra of Poggio a Caiano—the Medici, Napoleon and King Vittorio Emanuele II—has left their mark, creating a unique stratification of styles.
Lorenzo de’Medici commissioned the villa to Giuliano da Sangallo in the 1400s. Great pains were taken in the use of proportion, harmony and symmetry in the Classical style. For in the late 15th century, as nobles abandoned the fortified castle, to be ancient was to be modern. The villa’s clearly defined profile, layout and proportions are in homage to the humanistic and classical rediscoveries then sweeping Europe.
The sweeping staircase, added in the late 1700s at the time of French occupation in the early 19th century, replace two large ramps, which allowed horses to lead their noble passengers directly to the first floor entranceway.
The villa’s most striking aspect is its imposing Greek-inspired facade, with eight slender Ionic columns and a pediment enshrining copies of a glazed terra-cotta sculpture made by Andrea Sansovino.
Be sure to explore the grottoes, statues and fountains in adjoining gardens, where Lorenzo once held his famous scholarly garden parties and kept exotic animals, including a giraffe presented to him by the Sultan of Babylon.
For more info on the event, see the ORT web site.