The Posta Medicea
Resting place for travellers including Pius VI and Pius VII, Giuseppe II of Austria, Giacomo Casanova, Dickens, Stendhal and Mozart.
The Posta Medicea is a must-see if you want to really discover the beauty of the small town of Radicofani. Set along the ancient Via Francigena, this large 16th century building rises as testimony to the historical and artistic past of the village and the entire area.
Building work started in 1584 by commission of Grand Duke Ferdinando I Medici, who employed the famous architect Bernardo Buontalenti who skilfully used the older construction of Grand Duke Francesco I’s Hunting Lodge as a foundation for the building we can admire today.
Arriving from the historical town centre the building is easily reached by foot and is made up of various parts divided up into four plans – cellars, halls, stables and chambers. Travellers throughout the ages have here been able to rest and restore their energy in order to continue the long walk from Florence to Rome. An interesting fact is that the building fulfilled the needs and requirements of travellers and pilgrims coming from “high” society: it, in fact, hosted illustrious characters such as Pius VI and Pius VII, Giuseppe II of Austria, but also Giacomo Casanova, Dickens, Stendhal and Mozart
The exterior of the building is very simple and rather austere in style and appearance: the façade is in fact made up of a two-floor loggia – one on the road level and the other on the floor above – each of which has six arches; the loggia is overlooked by one of the great halls on the first floor.
The Posta is often called the “Osteria Grossa” and is best remembered for being used as recently as the 19th century as a station for rest and for changing horses, until its subsequent use as residence of the Bologna family.
There is another building in front which used to be a branch of the Siennese customs and duties office.
It is easily deduced, therefore, that the Posta Medicea still today represents a true piece of history, a rather simple building that hides a timeless charm.