Belmond Villa San Michele invites guests to discover Florence with a tour revealing the intrigues of the famous Medici family.

Love rules the world, always

April 2017. Belmond Villa San Michele (Fiesole) reveals what the history books won’t tell you; an exciting tale of intrigue, betrayal and mystery featuring the famous Medici family, between the centre of Florence and the Villa Medicea at Poggio a Caiano.

Follow the case of Francesco I, the Grand Duke of Tuscany, who from a young age was swept away by a swirling passion for the beautiful Venetian Bianca Cappello, who distracted him from his duties of regent. Described by the chroniclers as an obsessive love affair, which could not even be suffocated by his marriage and inescapable political duty to Joanna of Austria, the love between Bianca Cappello and Grand Duke is just one of the liaisons that helped make Florence the undisputed center of the Renaissance world.

A guided walk through the city’s ancient winding streets includes a visit to some private rooms at Palazzo Vecchio, normally closed to the public. Here, the exquisitely painted frescoes of Eleonora di Toledo, the venerated, spoiled wife of Cosimo can be seen as well as the study where Francis devoted himself to mysterious studies of alchemy, and the secret passages that, for centuries, allowed prying eyes to observe the goings-on at the noble court.

The tour ends at Villa Medicea (Poggio a Caiano), the scene of the tragic end of two famously inseparable lovers: Francis I, Grand Duke of Tuscany, and Bianca Cappello, who died just a few hours apart, from what is thought to be arsenic poisoning.

Duration of the tour: 4 hours.
For booking please contact the hotel at +39.055.5678200


Notes to Editors

For more information please contact:
Clio Cicuto
PR Belmond Villa San Michele
T +39.055.5678200

For high-res images: and

About Belmond Ltd.
Belmond Ltd is a global collection of exceptional hotel and luxury travel adventures in some of the world’s most inspiring and enriching destinations. Established almost 40 years ago with the acquisition of Belmond Hotel Cipriani in Venice, the Company owns and operates 46 unique and distinctive hotel, rail and river cruise experiences in many of the world’s most celebrated destinations. From city landmarks to intimate resorts, the collection includes Belmond Grand Hotel Europe, St. Petersburg; Belmond Copacabana Palace, Rio de Janeiro; Belmond Maroma Resort & Spa, Riviera Maya; and Belmond El Encanto, Santa Barbara. Belmond also encompasses safaris, six luxury tourist trains including the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express, three river cruises and ‘21’, one of New York’s most storied restaurants.

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