The Medicis originally came from the Mungello Valley north of Florence. At first the family resided in the area of the Old Market, in what is now Piazza della Repubica. After the rapid rise to power of the family under Cosimo the Elder, they decided to build a great palazzo in Via Larga and to transorm the Church of San Lorenzo into a kind of private family chapel designed by Brunelleschi. In the Old Sacristy of the Church, several members of Cosimo’s family are buried. Later, between the XVI and XVII centuries, for the glorification of dynasty, they had another private chapel built at the back of the church, the Medici Chapels, and the most of the Grand Dukes are buried here.
To these to centres of Medici power, a third was soon added: the Church and Monastery of San Marco, endowed through Cosimo’s generous gifts, and the adjacent gardens, which Lorenzo the Magnificent transformed into a meeting place for the Platonic Academy, led by the great humanist Marsilio Ficino, and for young artists, including Michelangelo. Our itinerary takes us to these places, all of which are significant monuments in art history and in the history of the city.
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