The Cappa

Florence and its territory
Belvedere Fort
In 1590 Ferdinand I commissioned Bernardo Buontalenti to build the fortification called Forte di San Giorgio to protect the city from above, but in particular it was used to contain the Medici treasure, which was kept in a secret hiding place on the hill. Its perimeter began under the Belvedere wall from Porta S. Giorgio, "in the garden of Pitti".

The fortress was completed in 1595 reaching the hill of Arcetri. It is located at an altitude of 75 m. and, for this reason, it is not that large when compared to the Fortezza da Basso.

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The fort was connected to Palazzo Pitti and Palazzo Vecchio with secret passages through the Boboli Gardens and the Vasari Corridor.

This closed walkway between the two palaces allowed the Medici to wander between the two without problems, equally, they could avoid the epidemic as happened in the 17th century when the plague infected the city’s population, or it could provide shelter for the Grand Duke if the city was attacked.

The star-shaped plan of the Forte Belvedere is not perfectly symmetrical. It is supported by four main bastions and two other minor bastions were built at different altitudes.

The main entrance features the Medici family coat of arms. The smooth and plastered walls of the Palazzina inside the fortress were previously built by Bartolomeo Ammannati. On the ground floor, there is an open gallery loggia facing the hill. The graceful clock above the central part of the villa was added during the 18th century.Although the fort was called Fortezza di Santa Maria, the Florentines have always called it Forte Belvederefor its beautiful view.

No one ever fired from here during the war. The exterior and interior of the Palazzina (villa) are today used for art exhibitions.

The Cappa

Proposed itinerary
Route from the Hotel