- Art & Culture
- Active & Green
Villa Medici del Vascello
The villa was acquired by the municipality of San Giovanni in Croce in 2005
Villa Medici del Vascello’s original structure was built in 1407 as a military fortification halfway between Cremona and Mantua, but as the political situation changed so did the area’s military needs, which lead to the fort being converted into a residential villa.
It later became the home of Cecilia Gallerani, Leonardo’s model for Lady with an Ermine, wife of Count Ludovico Carminati of San Giovanni in Croce and mistress to Ludovico Sforza, the Renaissance Duke of Milan.
Because of the many renovations and additions all that is left of the original structure is the scarpa (a sloped wall at the base of the building, common in medieval architecture) and the four towers.
The villa’s vast English style gardens alone are worth a visit with their rich vegetation, including a maidenhair tree dating back to the 19th century, the Chinese pagoda, the Indian temple, the Dutch cottage, the lake and the Greek Doric style temple.
The villa was acquired by the municipality of San Giovanni in Croce in 2005, and after an intense renovation project is opened to the public in 2014, Today it hosts also many cultural events.
Open: Sundays and bank holidays
Opening times: variable
Admission: only paid guided tours