The Villa of The Baron in Montemurlo

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Tvilla-tuscany-montemurlo Montemurlo lays near Prato, in a territory dotted with many beautiful historic villas and residences, heritage of the powerful families who had had their possessions here since medieval times. On the hills above the village of Bagnolo you can find the Sixteenth century Villa of the Baron. The original owner’s contemporaries defined it a “more than regal villa” because of its size that had no equivalent in contemporary mansions. The central nucleus of the imposing building was built by Bartolomeo di Filippo Baccio Valori, amidst the vast plots of land that he possessed since the Fifteenth century at the foot of Mount Javello. In 1537, the Valori family supported the anti-Medici uprising, which had its ending right in Montemurlo on August 1st of that year. When the army of exiles led by Filippo Strozzi clashed against the larger and better organized one of Cosimo I, the future Grand Duke of Tuscany, the latter prevailed, also helped by the Spanish militia. Valori was captured and beheaded, while the family possessions in Prato were confiscated.
Since then the Villa del Barone underwent several changes of ownership, changing 4 times in 350 years. During the Twentieth century the villa was converted into a nursing home for the elderly, then in recent years it was bought by a large real estate company that is transforming it into a first-class convention center and accommodation.
Very little is known of the original plans of the villa of the Baron, so much so that it has been suggested that the building was designed by the ingenious Giuliano di Sangallo, one of the greatest Renaissance architects who left many testimonies of his work on the territory of Prato. During the many transfers of ownership the villa has underwent many changes that turned it from a medieval fortress into a noble mansion, with an attached chapel and a large nymphs garden with water lilies. The most important renovations included the construction of two side wings in the second half of the Sixteenth century and the renovation of the exterior in the Eighteenth century, which gave the building a stark and robust appearance. The interiors of the villa are richly decorated and adorned with late baroque and noeclassico style statues. Unfortunately vandals have looted the interiors of the villa that long awaits a restoration work to return to its former glory rich with history and charm.

A Haunted House
The ancient villa of the Baron holds surprises to thrill-seekers: it seems that the villa during cold December nights is visited by the ghost of the disgraced daughter of the Baron, who was walled up alive in the building because she got pregnant before marriage. Some even say that the ghost of that Baron wanders lonely in the large decorated rooms.

The map to get to the Villa of the Baron in Montemurlo:

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