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Poggio a Caiano

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Poggio a Caiano is a town and comune in the Province of Prato, Tuscany region Italy. The town lies 9km south of the provincial capital of Prato.GeographyThe municipality counts the villages of Bonistallo, Calcinaia, Il Cerretino, Il Poggiale, Le Torri, Madonna del Violo, Petraia, Poggetto, Ponte alla Furba and Santa Cristina in Pilli.Sister townsPoggio a Caiano has two sister cities: Charlottesville, Virginia Agounit, Sahrawi Arab Democratic RepublicMain sightsThe Medici villaIn 1473 a ruined fortified house at Poggio a Caiano, called the Ambra, and land and a mill owned by Giovanni Rucellai, were bought by Lorenzo de' Medici. First, agricultural improvements were carried out; then in 1485 work started on the Medici Villa del Poggio, the "Villa on the Hill", to designs by Giuliano da Sangallo commissioned by Lorenzo. Prior to the building of this villa large country dwellings were defensive, fortified and with rooms looking into a central courtyard. Built on a quadrangular base around a large central hall with rooms having windows overlooking the surrounding countryside, the Villa del Poggio was revolutionary. At Lorenzo’s death in 1492 the villa remained largely unfinished, work being resumed when Lorenzo’s second son, Giovanni, became pope as Leo X. The central hall is named after this first Medici pope.
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