A Brief History of Villa Admiral Giulio de 'Medici - XVI century
The Villa is located in Arena Metato (previously known as Arena Pisana), and it was built in the second half of the 1500s by the First Admiral of the Medici and Santo Stefano Fleet Giulio de' Medici. The Villa was meant to be his personal countryside property.
The “Ammiraglio” is one of the very few Villas in the province of Pisa to be built and inhabited directly by the Medici family of Florence.We know nothing about the architect who actually built it, but the style and coat of arms of the Villa could lead to Francavilla, a Belgian artist who at the time was working in Tuscany, and specifically in Pisa.
The current owners are the Cerretti Piacentino family, who bought the Villa in the early 1970s and completely restored it to the original Renaissance outlook and grandeur. Later on, the Fine Arts Department of Pisa registered the Villa as a historic and artistic monument to be preserved. Today the Villa is ranked among the properties of the Tuscany division of ADSI (Italian Association for the Historic Properties).
Arena is a fraction of the San Giuliano Terme municipality.
Sitting on the left bank of the river Serchio, in ancient times it used to be a sandy island, thus the name. Arena is still a small rural village, growing mainly corn, spinach and its famous delicious strawberries.
The village sits right in the middle of the sweet and quaint Pisan countryside; a few kilometers to the South is the famous Leaning Tower and Baptistry of Pisa, which you can see from some of the villa's windows. Facing North-East you can see the mellow layers of the Monti Pisani (Pisan Hills), a popular destination for trekking lovers seeking out the summer cool breeze.
Not too long ago, the Monti Pisani were the relaxing summer retreat of many Pisan noblemen, who built several villas on these hills.
Still further North you can clearly see the Alpi Apuane (Apuan Alps), specifically the Panie group which is typically snow-covered in winter time.