The 2024 ‘Enchanted Villas & Gardens’ Concert Series at Medici Villas

The Medici villa of Poggio a Caiano

The Orchestra of Tuscany (ORT) will hold concerts at the Medici villas of Tuscany this summer as part of ”Ville e Giardine Incantati” (Enchanted Villas and Gardens) series in partnership with the Ministry of Culture. The seven locations are La Petraia, Poggio a Caiano, Cerreto Guidi, Seravezza, Quarrata, and the parks at Pratolino and  Villa di Castello, all declared UNESCO world heritage sites in 2013. Fourteen concerts will take place at these venues during June and July, marking eight years of the event, with tickets now available.

This year the musicians of the Orchestra of Tuscany will interpret music from Mozart to Beethoven, Mendelssohn, Vivaldi and Prokofiev with the ORT Brass and Percussion Ensemble presenting a new show dedicated to Casanova and another ORT group Schubert’s Octet. 

Notable artists include ORT’s principal conductor Diego Ceretta, who will open the festival with the first musical production from June 5 to 8; flautist Giulia Baracani; the principal horns Andrea Mancini and Flavio Giuliani; Giacomo Bianchi, who will be a soloist on the violin and concertmaster during the performance of Antonio Vivaldi’s masterpiece The Four Seasons. The event will also showcase other talents, such as Fabio Giuliani on the oboe. 

Some villas will be offering guided tours; free at Petraia, Parco di Pratolino, Poggio a Caiano and for a fee at the Medici Palace of Seravezza. Paid buffets will be available at the Petraia, Cerreto Guidi, Quarrata and Seravezza villas. 

All concerts will last approximately one hour starting at 9:30 pm, excluding the concerts at Pratolino on June 8 and Castello on July 13, which will start at 6 and 6:30 pm, respectively. The cost of a ticket is €12, €10 for members of Unicoop, and they can be purchased at the Teatro Verdi Box Office, Circuito Ticketone points or online Concerts at the villas of Quarrata and Seravezza are free to enter but require reservation.  


Program 1

Diego Ceretta, conductor

Orchestra of Tuscany

Schubert, Overture in Italian style D 591

Prokofiev, Symphony n.1 op.25 Classic

Mendelssohn, Symphony n.4 op.90 Italian

June 5:  Medici villa of Poggio a Caiano 

This location one of the most famous Medici villas situated in Prato, constructed approximately at the end of the 15th century and the beginning of the 16th and was originally commissioned by Lorenzo the Magnificent. 

June 6:  Medici villa of Cerreto Guidi 

This villa, located west of Florence, constructed originally by request of Cosimo I de’ Medici, around 1555, is now home to a Historical Hunting Museum.

June 7: Medici villa of La Petraia, Florence 

The Villa Petraia, was purchased by Cosimo de’ Medici in 1544 and the villa remained in Medici possession until the end of the dynasty. It was then passed onto the Grand Dukes of Habsburg-Lorraine and a Romantic style garden was built under the ownership of Leopold II, which remains today, at the north of the villa. 

June 8: Medici Park of Pratolino, Vaglia at 6 pm

The Medici park Pratolino is one of the largest  in Tuscany, near Vaglia. Built in 16th Century by will of the medici family the park is known for its many impressive sculptures and water features, in particular, The Apennines by Giambologna.

Program 2

Kyrian Friedenberg, conductor / Giulia Barcani, flute soloist 
Orchestra of Tuscany 
Jacques Ibert / Hommage à Mozart
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart / Concerto for flute and orchestra e orchestra n. 2
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart / (Prague) Symphony n. 38 in D major 
June 12: Medici villa of Poggio a Caiano

June 13:  Medici villa of Cerreto Guidi 

June 14: Medici villa of La Petraia, Florence 

Program 3

Danila Grassi, conductor / Andrea Mancini, French horn soloist

Orchestra of Tuscany

Mozart, Don Giovanni overture

Rosetti, Concert for horn and orchestra

Beethoven, Symphony n.8 op.93

June 27: Medici villa of Poggio a Caiano 

June 28: Medici villa of La Petraia, Florence 

June 29: Medici villa of Cerreto Guidi

Program 4

I MISTERI DI CASANOVA (The Mysteries of Casanova)

Luci e ombre di un genio irrequieto (Light and shadows of a restless genius) 

The Brass and Percussion Ensemble of the Orchestra of Tuscany

Eleonora Cappelletti, narrator 

Music by Giampiero Reverberi / arrangements by Demetrio Bonvecchio

July 3:   Medici villa of La Magia, Quarrata 

July 8:  Medici villa of Seravezza 

Program 5

LUCI E OMBRE (Lights and Shadows) 

Passeggiando per Vienna (Walking through Vienna) 

Ensemble of the Orchestra of Tuscany 

Schubert/ Octet in F major D 803

July 13:  Garden of the Medici villa of Castello (6:30 pm)

Castello is located very nearby to the Petraia villa and famous for its gardens, second most popular after Boboli gardens in Florence itself. Its initial construction took place in the 14th century before it was destroyed and reconstructed in the 16th century.

Program 6

Orchestra of Tuscany 

Giacomo Bianchi concertmaster and violin / Flavio Giuliani oboe

July 20: Medici villa of La Petraia, Florence

J.S. Bach/ Concerto for violin, oboe and orchestra in C minor BWV 1060R 

Vivaldi/ The Four Seasons 

For more information, visit the ORT website.

(Lucy Turner)