In 2015, a Medici villa started a new life. Three years on, the Villa Medicea di Lilliano is the epitome of a successful business venture in the hills of Florence.
Opened to great fanfare with the mother of all parties in May 2015, the villa owned by the Malenchini family has firmly established itself as a destination wedding venue par excellence in Tuscany.
Nestled in the countryside a short distance from Grassina and a mere 25 minutes from Florence, the wine resort boasts 10 centuries of history and heritage but always looks to the future by hosting high-end corporate events.
In 2017, Audi Italia parked their RS3 and RS6 sport models in the verdant Medici gardens for an exclusive press presentation before taking to the Grassina country roads for an unforgettable test drive. In 2016, Tuscan outdoor fashion brand Roberto Ricci Designs showed their Lycra-centric range in the centuries-old setting of the Villa Medicea di Lilliano.
Mesmerizing events have included the Brilliant Gala Night, an unprecedented B2B event welcoming 200 selected guests when the traditional Limonaia space was turned into a lavish Paris nightclub for one night only, and the magical Opera Under The Tuscan Stars evening, with the International Opera Performing Experience group performing pieces by Puccini and Verdi in the villa’s grounds.
The top venue cares about giving back, opening its spaces to charity benefits and fundraisers for local associations such as the city children’s hospital Meyer and the International School of Florence.
“It’s not every day you can say you’ve been involved in putting a Medici villa on the map,” laughs Eric Veroliemeulen, general manager of Villa Medicea di Lilliano since its opening in 2015. “As a Dutchman, I’m incredibly proud to have done the start-up and putting a personal stamp on such an amazing brand. Villa Medicea di Lilliano is young and flexible, not in any way stuffy, which is unique for a property that boasts 10 centuries of history.”
What’s next for the Medici villa in the Florentine hills?
“We’ll continue to host high-end destination weddings for all nationalities, offering official marriage ceremonies on our estate. For 2019, we have selected only the finest Italian suppliers, from 3 Michelin-star restaurant with catering on location to in-house lighting and audio designers. Villa Medicea di Lilliano offers more than weddings, however. It’s the perfect place to stay for couples and families with personalized itineraries from truffle hunting to tasting the estate’s own wines. Fashion shoots, product launches and teambuilding events: 10 centuries of history have made our villa versatile!”
The big news for the Villa Medicea di Lilliano brand is an expansion in downtown Florence slated for 2019, with the opening of the Palazzo Peruzzi suites in the Santa Croce neighbourhood.
Villa Medicea di Lilliano
Via Lilliano e Meoli 82, Grassina, near Florence