Cafaggiolo Castle

The main front of the castle/villa (before the recent restoration)

Cafaggiolo is located 25 Km north of Florence, in the heart of the Mugello. To reach it from Florence there are 2 possibilities: the Motorway A1 until the exit Barberino Mugello, then follow the direction for Borgo San Lorenzo or the Bolognese Road (starting from Piazza della Libertà in Florence) and at the crossroad of San Piero a Sieve continuing for Barberino del Mugello.


The Castle of Cafaggiolo is located north of Florence, in the Mugello, an area from ever strictly related to the Medici family. It is considered one of the great masterpieces of the renaissance architecture, realized by the famous architect Michelozzo over a preexistent structure. The original castle was built in the 14th century and it was one of the fortification of the Florentine Republic. In the 1443 Cosimo il Vecchio gave assignment to Michelozzo to transform the ancient fortification in a residential building. Today the ditch, the drawbridge and the external curtain wall that surrounded the fortified villa are disappeared. The complex is still endowed with machicolation and battlements, even if probably were inserted only with decorative function.
The famous lunette painted by G.Utens (1599) where is represented the castle.
Within its walls the members of the Medici family passed a long time accommodating important men and artists. In the wide halls and the immense park have been entertainment, dance parties, receptions for princes and popes. Lorenzo il Magnifico spent part of his childhood at Cafaggiolo and when adult stayed many times here encircled by the most important culture men of his time. In the 1515 the Castle was opened to Pope Leone X. Also some future brides of the men of the Medici family were received in Cafaggiolo.

It is remembered that Caterina de' Medici received here in 1533 Margaret of Austria and in the 1565 Giovanna of Austria, coming from Vienna in order to marry the Granduca Francisco. After the extinction of the Medici family, in 1737, the Castle of Cafaggiolo continued to be visited by famous personages. From the new owners Lorena passed to the Asburgo, then in the 1864 the Italian government sold it to the Borghese family, which made substantial modifications changing the look of the castle in the one that we can see today. Currently it is a private property, center of restaurant with halls for festivities and weddings, visited the official site to learn more about: http://www.castellodicafaggiolo.it
The stables.

Back to Homepage
Back to Castles Index