Villa della Petraia
When, in 1568 Cardinal Ferdinando de’ Medici received Villa della Petraia as a gift from his father Cosimo I, he could not be able even to imagine that it would have turned into one of the most beloved family properties. Nor that, centuries later, the first king of Italy, Vittorio Emanuele, would have strolled along its gardens together with the beautiful Rosina, his lover for more than three decades. Ferdinando, when he became Grand Duke, renovated the fourteenth-century “palagio” (palace) into a noble villa, converting the fields full of rocks (in Italian “pietre”, hence the name “Petraia”) into a thriving garden made of overlapping terraces. At the end of XVI century, the first terrace, at the same level of the villa, was called “the garden of the dwarf-fruits”. The trees were so low that even the dames could pick the fruits without any effort.