The Medici: a family of eminent and ambitious figures, who grew among alliances and internal and external conflicts for territorial control. The triumph and the exile; the transition from the margins to the center of power. This year we celebrate two of the Medici, who one became a prince and the other a queen: Cosimo and Caterina.
Caterina de’ Medici, the future wife of Henry II and then Queen of France, was born on 13 April 1519 in the family palace in Via Larga in Florence. A few months later, on 12 June of the same year, Cosimo de’ Medici was born in
the Villa del Trebbio in Mugello: he became Duke of Florence at just the age of 17 and later Grand Duke of Tuscany. Both are key figures in the cultural and political history of Florence: Cosimo is accredited with understanding
the importance of art, he used it as an incomparable “instrumentum regni”; Caterina, an ambitious and lively woman, voiced her opinions in different sectors. For this reason, in 2019 – 500 years after their birth – the
Municipality of Florence, together with a committee composed of 22 city institutions and with the organizational support of the MUS.E, has decided to host a programme to commemorate them and to celebrate their lives
and achievements. The Organizing Committee – besides the Municipal Administration – represents and brings together all the Bodies, Institutions and Associations in Florence that are committed to creating a shared and
coordinated programme. More than 50 exhibitions, conferences, lectures, concerts, guided tours, in-depth meetings, tastings, and “time travel”, are organized to visualize the parallel lives of Cosimo and Caterina, which cross
many times thanks to the odd intertwining of history and the balance of politics. Therefore, the year 2019 celebrates the extraordinary lives of the two Medici who have taken their fame as well as their cultural, political and
economic influence far beyond the borders of Italy.