Located on the top of a hill and near the northern slopes of Montalbano mountain range, Villa La Magia unopposed overlooks the surrounding area. She stands up with its compact square shape, result of the course of time.
The ancient manor house and its whole estate were bought by Grand Duke Francesco I Medici.
In a very short time, he began the renovation of the property: on January 1585 the chronicles reports that the activities were to an end. Again in 1585 the construction works for the artificial lake walls began as well.
Today, the lake does not exist anymore, on the contrary the big drive that directed from it to the Villa is still utilized. Sixteen century documents report the name of the Medici family favourite architect, Bernardo Buontalenti, as the planner of the artificial lake project: during that period, he was head architect in other Medicean building projects.
That fact makes us believe that he was responsible for Villa La Magia renovations as well, although evidences about that are vague. Villa La Magia was the first medicean investment on the eastern slopes of the Montalbano; ten years later the villas in Artimino and Montevettolini were built.
Those, together with the Cerreto Guidi and Ambrogiana villas, were convenient support and stop off places during the hunting trips the Grand Dukes often went in for in their game reserve in the Montalbano, the “Barco Reale Mediceo”. They were an efficient system for the administration and the cost effective control of their many properties, too. The painting by Justus Utens, made not many years later the end of the renovation works on the villa, completely represents the atmosphere the Villa should have had in the age of Ferdinando I.
The buildings surrounding the residence, together with the characters enlivening the image, underline the rural and “amusing” nature of the place: in front of the residence some noblemen are playing Real Tennis, while in the foreground takes place a hunting to the deer scene.
Evidently, the area was particularly rich on ground game: on December 1595, Ferdinando I wrote to his wife, the Duchess Christina of Lorraine: “Today I had a good hunting, and I had the time of my life, and I am sending you a great cart with eleven pigs, because the cart could not carry more”.
Granted by Ferdinando I to the presumptive son of Francesco I and Bianca Cappello, don Antonio de’ Medici, the property was sold to the Florentine Pandolfo Attavanti by Ferdinado II in 1645. Together with the farm, the Villa remained with the Attavanti family until the February of 1752, when the family died out and their assets became property of the barons Bindaccio and Leone Ricasoli.
In 1766 Giulio Giuseppe Amati bought the estate. We owe to that family the ultimate setting up of a part of the gardens, and the building up of another Limonaia (on the east side, in front of the one built by the Attavanti family – 1715 c.ca-), and a monumental gate (1797) at the entrance of the drive to the property. As inheritance of the noble family from Pistoia, that died out in 1863, the estate was handed on to the Counts Amati Cellesi. since 2000Villa la Magia is property of Quarrata Town Council.