Pratolino Travel Guide

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This small town is located north of Florence on the way to Borgo San Lorenzo. The Gem of this town is the Medici Villa 'Villa Demidoff' and all the acres of beautiful sculptures and gardens. One of the main sculptures is the 'Fonte di Fata Morgana' by Giambologna, It's breath taking at 40 feet high and 30 wide perched over a lily pond. http://www.arca.net/dbimg/demidoffb.jpg - picture of 'Fonte di Fata Morgana' Address: Località Pratolino- Tel. 055/409427 (Vaglia) How to get there: by car state highway 65 (Via Bolognese) - by coach ATAF bus 25/a taken from web @ http://www.arca.net/tourism/toscana/demidoff.htm Nowadays Villa Demidoff is famous above all for its immense park (over thirty hectares crossed by various well-marked routes). In the past the park was enlivened by imaginative waterworks. Little remains of the complex built by Buontalenti for Francesco I de' Medici as the fabulous residence for his beloved Bianca Cappello. Ferdinand III of Lorraine had the villa, which had fallen into ruin in the course of the centuries, torn down. In 1872, the estate passed to the Demidoff family, whom we have to thank for restoring the park and transforming the former paggeria into what is now the villa. The colossal "Apennine ", a cyclopic sculpture rising from a lake, by Giambologna, the flight of steps with the fountain of the god Pan, and Buontalenri's octagonal chapel are some of` what remains of the sixteenth-century layout.
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