The current building dates back to the mid-sixteenth century. The designer was the architect, Giovanni Lippi. The villa was acquired in 1576 by Cardinal Ferdinando de’ Medici in order to house his art collection.
Since the early nineteenth century, the villa has been the seat of the Accademia di Francia (French Academy), founded in 1666. The external façade of the villa is not excessively embellished. With its tall bastion-like foundations, the villa resembles a defensive structure. The fairly plain look of the outer façade contrasts dramatically with the richly embellished inner façade featuring garlands, masks, statues and ancient bas-reliefs, not to mention the enchanting loggia facing terraced gardens adorned with sculptures and fountains (one fountain features an obelisk).
Opening times of the ticket office
Tuesday to Sunday, 9:30 am-5:30 pm (6:30 if there is an exhibition)
Closed on Monday / 1 January / 1 May / 25 December
Tuesday to Sunday, 10:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. (last admission 6:30 p.m.)