Siege to the Villa 2019 in Poggio Caiano
Art, history, shows, food and wine on show at the beautiful Medici Villa
From 13 September 2019 to 15 September 2019
From 13 to 15 September 2019, ‘Assedio alla Villa’ is back in Poggio a Caiano with the 35th edition of the event that takes place around the wonderful Villa Ambra, a splendid Medici mansion. An event that over the years has become ever more popular: just think that in 2018 it was attended by as many as 20,000 people! The festival lists a long program with music, shows, food and wine, historical re-enactments, guided tours, art workshops and many activities dedicated to children! In other words, this is a great party! So why is it called a siege? The name would actually make one think more of soldiers, fights and wars than celebrations and food partying.
Well then, we will immediately solve the mystery by telling you how this great festival was started at the Medici Villa in Poggio a Caiano. Precisely in 1565 the Archduchess Joan of Habsburg, daughter of the Emperor Ferdinand I, arrived in the splendid villa where she is said to have stopped before heading to Florence. Here she supposedly married prince Francesco I de 'Medici. The Archduchess felt so overwhelmed by the affection shown to her by the local people that she compared it to a real siege. To thank them for such a warm welcome she even had wine pouring in abundance from a stone mask of a fountain! It is in memory of these facts that the famed Wine Festival in Poggio a Caiano was originally staged. With the passing of time, albeit strictly good red wine continues to flow from the Fontana del Mascherone, the festival has evolved and been transformed into what today is a celebration packed with many interesting events!
The center of the whole event is Medici Villa in Poggio a Caiano, one of the splendid Medici villas in Tuscany that can still be visited today, which was also declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2013. It was designed by Giuliano da Sangallo for Lorenzo the Magnificent and is a wonderful example of Renaissance architecture where classic elements blend with other characteristics of Tuscan rural style. Sitting on the top of a hill in the town of the same name, construction works began at the end of the fifteenth century and were resumed several times until the following century. The luxurious rooms of the Poggio a Caiano Medici Villa housed famous people such as members of the Medici and Lorraine families but also Napoleon’s sister Elisa Baiocchi and Vittorio Emanuele of Savoy who chose it as one of his country residences. The interiors, rich in memorabilia and evidences of the presence of these figures, also testify to the taste of those who contributed to the construction and decoration of the building. An example of this is Sala Leone X where there is a wonderful cycle of frescoes by Pontormo, Andrea del Sarto and Alessandro Allori. During the Assedio alla Villa in Poggio a Caiano many themed and exciting guided tours are staged offering plenty of opportunities to discover this fantastic jem. Where is it exactly? Poggio a Caiano is located in the province of Prato and is about 15 km from Florence. This small town grew up around the Villa and stands on one of the last offshoots of the Montalbano mountains, a series of hills extending between the provinces of Prato, Pistoia and Florence and separating Upper and Lower Valdarno. If you are looking for ideas for a weekend in September in Tuscany, Poggio a Caiano (Po) during the days of this beautiful event is certainly a good option. You can combine art, nature, fun and good food and wine in one go.
THE PARTY ... AND WHAT A PARTY!
A five-centuries long journey with historical re-enactments of important events and illustrious figures of past times aplenty. A joyful ‘confusion’ where dames and knights mingle with street artists and artisans and where light comes from fires but also the latest gimmicks such as LEDs and video walls.
The 35th edition of Poggio a Caiano Assedio alla Villa will be dedicated to two pivotal figures of the former Grand Duchy of Tuscany: Leonardo da Vinci, whose 500th death anniversary is celebrated this year, and Cosimo de 'Medici for whom this year marks instead 500 years from his birth. ‘Meraviglia Toscana’ is the title that was chosen to celebrate the Tuscan spirit in all its facets: that of the two protagonists of the 2019 edition, of the beauty of the landscape, food, culture and art. The intent of the organizers, with the Pro Loco of Poggio a Caiano in the front row, is to wow those who will take part in the thrilling whirlwind of events that will light up this town from 13 to 15 September.
- Shows: Parades, historical re-enactments, falconry, plays of light and fire, performances of traditional and contemporary theater, street artists and games for children. The Siege to the Villa program for 2019 is once again full of many events! Some of these will have an itinerant character so every street of Poggio with be filled with music, colors, lights and lots of fun!
- Food stalls: this is Tuscany and here food is taken very seriously! At the Poggio a Caiano Wine Festival there will be a wide choice of delicacies to be enjoyed with many stalls for you to taste good food from today and the past and also local and ethnic dishes. If you want to do a bit of shopping you will also find street shops open until late at night where you can buy handicrafts, food and wine and much more!
- Music: even in this case there will really be something for everyone! The sounds being played around the Poggio a Caiano Villa Medicea will explore more than five centuries of history, offering different musical styles. The imaginary time journey will include Renaissance dances and Street-bands and will woo the younger generations thanks to rocking DJ-sets.
- Themed guided tours: the entry ticket includes the possibility to book many interesting guided tours to the Medici Villa in Poggio a Caiano. Some of them will take place with special guides such as the Villa's director and the mayor of Poggio a Caiano ... who better than them can tell you more about this wonderful Renaissance wonder?
How about planning a nice trip in the land of the Medici in September? Come and discover the ‘Meraviglia Toscana’ thanks to the king of the events of Poggio a Caiano! And if that's still not enough, Florence is ‘a stone's throw away’: to good an opportunity to miss it! Book our tour 'In the footsteps of the Medici' and you will discover many other interesting facts on the most famous Tuscan dynasty!
See you in Poggio a Caiano, then, from 13 to 15 September for a full immersion in art, history, music, entertainment and lots of good food!
Period: From 13 September 2019 to 15 September 2019
Event location: Poggio a Caiano - Prato
Contacts: info www.assedioallavilla.com
Need help choosing
Tours & Activities
In the footsteps of the Medici family in Florence
Duration: approx. 2 hours and 30 minutes
Tours & Activities
Skip the line: Guided visit to the Accademia Gallery in Florence
Duration: approx. 1 hour and 15 minutes