The Medici family is most closely associated with Florence, but this Villa Medici (not far from the Villa Borghese) has been in Rome since 1576.
The villa was purchased by Cardinal Ferdinando I de’ Medici before it was finished, making it the first Medici property in Rome. The property had been a vineyard for quite awhile before construction began, and the villa eventually was surrounded by more manicured gardens and groves of trees.
The Villa Medici is the home of the French Academy in Rome since 1803, when Napoleon had obtained the villa. To this day, the villa is still an art academy to which artists are invited to live and work for a period of a year. There are regular art exhibitions and shows, as well as music performances and open-air cinema events. The events schedule changes regularly.
There are guided tours of the Villa Medici gardens and apartments available throughout the year. Most tours given are in French, with one English tour given each day at noon. Tours last about 1.5 hours.