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Medici Villa di Seravezza

In Seravezza, once called Versilia Fiorentina, it was the Medici family that initiated the great marble industry, but the real protagonist was the Medici family's representative, Michelangelo Buonarroti. At the beginning of the 16th century, Michelangelo was commissioned to choose the most beautiful marble blocks in order to complete the still unfinished facade of San Lorenzo. The first quarries were located in the Carrara area and were owned by the Marquis Malaspina. With the opening of the new Medici quarries in Seravezza, facilitate the trade and transport of marble, Michelangelo opened up the road to the sea, a road that would allow a connection with Forte dei Marmi, where the marble blocks going for Florence were embarked. It was then that Cosimo I decided to have a palace built for the family there. 
The works were entrusted to Davide Fortini in 1561, under the supervision of the architect Bartolomeo Ammannati.
The palace became a summer residence that was greatly loved by members of the family: Francesco I stayed there with his wife Bianca Cappello, who loved to linger there even longer than her husband did. Ferdinando I also stayed there with his wife Christina of Lorraine, who was passionate about fishing. It was, in fact, Christina of Lorraine who, at the death of her husband, enlarged the building with some works such as the external chapel based on a design by Bernardo Buontalenti. 
With the Lorraine dynasty, Peter Leopold donated the Villa to the Community of Seravezza, keeping only a small portion as a summer residence for his deputy in Pietrasanta.
After only two years, in 1786, the Seravezza Community had to give up the Grand Duke's bequest because of the burdensome maintenance. The villa was assigned to the Magona, as the headquarters of the administration and warehouse of the ironworks operating in the nearby town of Ruosina.
In the same period, several wealthy local citizens founded the Accademia dei Costanti, which transformed a portion of the stables into a theatre for the community. 
In 1835, with the privatisation of the Ruosina ironworks, the palace-villa was completely renovated by Leopold II, who made it into a summer residence for his daughters. When a cholera epidemic suddenly broke out, the villa was also used as a hospital. After the unification of Italy, the Medici villa went to the State, which donated it to the municipality of Seravezza in 1864. After hosting the prisons and the headquarters of the Town Hall, today the Museum of Work and Popular Traditions of Historical Versilia is located inside it.

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  • Progetto finanziato a valere sui fondi Legge n. 77 del 20 febbraio 2006 “Misure speciali di tutela e fruizione dei siti italiani di interesse culturale, paesaggistico e ambientale, inseriti nella “lista del patrimonio mondiale”, posti sotto la tutela dell’UNESCO”