Medici Family

The Medici dynasty: the intriguing and influential Florentine family

Delve into the fascinating lives of the well-known and historic House of the Medici.

The city of Florence and the House of the Medici are quite simply inseparable; to really know the city, it’s essential to understand the history of this phenomenal family that began in 1230 with Giambuono de’ Medici in Mugello, Tuscany.

Legends surround the origin of the name and the well-known crest with its five red (and one blue) balls against a gold backdrop, which has such a pervasive presence in the city. Whatever its beginnings, it lasted an incredible 790 years and only met its end with Gian Gastone as final ruler in 1737, and Anna Maria Luisa de’ Medici Electress Palatine as final head of the family in 1743.
Stories of passion, murder, ruthlessness and power surround each generation, prompting a timeless fascination. Here, we look at some of these secrets and glories, as well as how to discover more about the centuries-old clan. 

Lorenzo de' Medici

A little about the Medici family history 

The noted family made its wealth from banking, facilitating their rise to political power in Florence. They began to gain prominence under Cosimo de’ Medici (Cosimo the Elder) and their bank was even the largest in Europe for a time during the 15th century. Titles assumed by members of the family include four Popes of the Catholic Church, Grand Duke of Tuscany, Dukes of Florence, Urbino, Nemours, Ottajano and even two Queens of France.

Boboli Garden

Strategic marriages connected them to other significant nobility such as the Houses of Habsburg, Lorraine and Bourbon. Their estates are some of the most marvellous in the country from Palazzo Vecchio and Palazzo Pitti to Palazzo Medici Riccardi, chapels and several villas in Tuscany.
Famed patrons of the arts and humanities, they assisted in making Florence the cradle of the Renaissance, a time of unparalleled cultural growth with lasting influence. We have the Medici family to thank for many of the city’s most iconic buildings, monuments and artworks, making it one of the most spectacular cities in the world.

Palazzo Vecchio

Achievements and impact

The influence of this family cannot be underestimated. Among their achievements, we can include the financing of the invention of the piano and opera, and the crucial patronage of Botticelli, Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, Galileo and Brunelleschi, to mention just a few.
Places of note in Florence include the Basilica of San Lorenzo, commissioned by Cosimo the Elder, and home to the extravagant Medici family Chapels and mausoleum, the final resting place of Cosimo I, Francesco I, Lorenzo the Magnificent and his brother Giuliano.

The final head of the family, Anna Maria Luisa signed the Patto di Famiglia ("family pact") on October 31, 1737. This was to have the most resounding impact of all as she willed the entire heritage of the Medici to the Tuscan state, providing that nothing was ever removed from Florence, allowing us to enjoy the wonderful city we have today. 

Medici Chapels


But that is all information you possibly already know.
What about some of the gossip that has travelled through the centuries also? Intrigue has always surrounded the Medici family. Fascinating stories emerge from every generation of the historic family, giving rise to popular books, TV series and films that grab a cult following.
For example, Piero de’ Medici (1416-1469) was called “Piero the Gouty” because of gout in his foot that ultimately led to his death.

The Pazzi Conspiracy of 1478 is another standout event. The attempt to depose of the Medici family by killing Lorenzo with his younger brother Giuliano during Easter services ended with the death of Giuliano but a merely injured Lorenzo. Rival families were tied up in the affair, and even, seemingly, the Pope for having allowed the plot to proceed without interfering. 

This is only the tip of the iceberg in terms of intriguing stories about the Medici family. Dig deeper into centuries of secrets and their incredible influence as they are revealed in many tours about the powerful dynasty and its everlasting impact. Stick to the Medici’s own motto, “Make haste slowly”.

Villa Petraia with its garden (credits


Medici's Dinasty Walking Tour - Discovering the Medici Residen ...

A fascinating 2hours walk to discover the history, the richness and the secrets of the powerful Medici Dynasty.

Starting from 29,00 €


Medici's Walking Tour with Boboli Gardens entrance Ticket

2 hours walking tour along an enchanting itinerary of a mile, where you'll discover the history, the richness a ...

Starting from 49,00 €

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