Another landmark to substantiate the chiefdom of the Medici family as far as the history of Florence is concerned refers to the so-called Forte (Fortezza) di Belvedere (di San Giorgio), or, more briefly, Belvedere. It took Buontalenti 5 years to design and to build the structure (between 1590 and 1595) upon the demand of Ferdinando de Medici. In the later 16th century the Medici obviously started to think about possible situations in which they had to defend their lives and fortune against conceivable sieges or plagues, which is precisely why the project of a future fortress became increasingly necessary.

However, given the fortress was to be built for royalty, it had to comply with certain standards of taste and even luxury. Thus, the fortress shelters a splendidly designed and embellished villa or palace, again conceived by Buontalenti, for the use of the Medici in case they were forced to resort to defensive positions. Nowadays, this former treasury, fortress and palace complex is chiefly used for artistic exhibitions. The fortress is also called Forte di San Giorgio because it is located in close proximity to one of the city gates, namely, Porta di San Giorgio. In addition, the landmark benefits from an increased tourist visibility by force of the fact it is located in the easternmost point of the Boboli Gardens, being historically and from the point of view of infrastructure alike linked to this entire cultural and artistic hotspot – consisting of the Palazzo Pitti, the Boboli Gardens, the Vasari Corridor which crosses the Old Bridge, the Uffizi Gallery and the Palazzo Vecchio – handed down to Florence by the Medici. As a plus, the fortress enables excellent views of certain parts of Florence, which is an inspired way of completing a stroll in the Boboli Gardens.

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