Classical music has filled the air of the Medici villas and reverberated through the Tuscan countryside for the past several weeks. The seventh edition of the “Enchanted Villas and Gardens,” a concert series of classical music hosted at the lavish country homes, began on June 7 and will end on July 19. The five remaining installments of the series are soon to bring the same spirit of charm and magic to the villas.
The Medici family, the former owners of the villas, hold great historical prominence in the city of Florence. The family was a banking power and patron of the arts during the Renaissance. The concert series is held at eight of the 12 villas which are designated as a UNESCO World Heritage site.
The final five installments range in location, repertoire and program events. The music will range from composers like Mozart to Prokofiev. There are a total of 16 performances that make up the concert series. Guided tours and buffets are available at a select number of villas either for free or a small charge. The concerts are open to all at a cost of €12. Below is an overview of the five evenings of classical music, which begin at 9:30 p.m. every night.
Thursday, June 29
Viale Papa Giovanni XXIII, 1, Artimino
The villa “La Ferdinanda” of Artimino will serve as the backdrop for the performance. Luca Ballabio will conduct the Orchestra della Toscana and Filippo Lombardi, solo trumpet player and winner of the 2019 Crescendo Award, in the evening’s program. The villa, which served as a hunting lodge, will be filled with music by Prokofiev, Haydn and Mozart.
Friday, June 30
Poggio a Caiano
Piazza dei Medici, 14, Poggio a Caiano | Same program as June 29.
The conductor Luca Ballabio will once again lead the Orchestra della Toscana and Filippo Lombardi through a night of Prokofiev, Haydn and Mozart. Guests can admire the villa’s Greek-inspired facade, statues, fountains and grottoes. Besides the Medici family, Poggio a Caiano was also owned by Napoleon and King Vittorio Emanuele II. Today, it offers visitors a look at the Medici family’s art collection and the Museum of Still Life on display.
Saturday, July 8
Park of Pratolino
Via Fiorentina, 276, Pratolino
The Villa Demidoff’s garden will host the evening’s events. The Brass and Percussion Ensemble of the ORT will perform music by composers Ennio Morricone and Astor Piazzolla at 6 p.m.. The Villa Demidoff was demolished in 1822, but the park is still decorated with a statue of the Colossus of the Apennines, fountains, caves and other botanical features.
Monday, July 10
Via Michelangelo Buonarroti, 280, Seravezza
The program comprises music by Mozart, Rossini, Bizet and Puccini, which will be performed by Alessandro Riccio and the ORT Wind Quintet. Today, the Villa offers visitors a look at the Municipal Historical Archive and Library, the Museum of Work and Popular Traditions of Historical Versilia and the Scuderie Granducali.
Wednesday, July 19
Via Vecchia Fiorentina, 63, Quarrata
The final evening offers the opportunity for attendees to listen to Mozart’s “Don Giovanni” as interpreted by conductor Alessandro Riccio and the strings and winds of the ORT will perform the music by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. The Villa was once a hunting and fishing lodge, but today it attracts tourists due to its beautiful architecture.
More information is available on the ORT’s homepage. (Camila Fowler)