guided tour only Jun-Aug: 10am, 11am, 3pm, 4.30pm and 6pm; Apr-May and Sep-Oct: 11am, 2pm, 3pm and 6pm; Nov-Mar: 10am, 11am, 2.30pm and 4pm - closed Mon, 1 Jan, 1 May and 25 Dec
Built around 1570 for Cardinal Ricci di Montepulciano on the site of the gardens of Lucullus in the 1C BC, Villa Medici became the property of Cardinal Ferdinand of Medici in 1576. He is responsible for the legendary fountain depicted in many 19C paintings and engravings. The rich inner façade contrasts strikingly with the outer façade, overlooking a lush garden dotted with statues, carvings and fragments of antique marble, among which garlands from Ara Pacis. Villa Medici is today the seat of the Académie de France and offers accommodation to visiting artists.