Key Players

/Key Players
Key Players 2017-06-22T11:41:55+00:00


We have selected the most important based on their roles in history.
Their accomplishments and qualities are outlined based on the Personality Chart below.

Medici Qualities

The Medici Family was one of the wealthiest and most influential dynasties in Europe. Thanks to arranged marriages they held strategic positions of power in all important courts of the time.


They invested heavily in architecture and commissioned most of the buildings, palazzi, and monuments you see today throughout Florence and Tuscany.


Their 300 years of history are filled with lovers, bloody intrigues, as well as betrayals and mysterious deaths.


Since the 14th Century the power of Florence depended on trade, especially in wool and banking. The Medici Bank became the main financial institution of the papacy, as well as one of the most prosperous and respected institutions in Europe.


The Medici family produced countless bankers, politicians, artists, and poets of great vision and talent.


Through the entire Medici lineage, the family sponsored the creation of artworks, commissioned new buildings, and were the patrons of many great artists.

Giovanni Bicci

Giovanni Bicci De’ Medici
(1360 – 1429)

1402 – 14221
several nominations

Rich and beloved by Florentine people, he created the foundation and the wealth which aided in the rise of the Medici to power.

In his 1427 Denuncia del Catasto (or tax return), Giovanni di Bicci had 81,072 florins to his name making him the richest man in Florence after Palla Strozzi, at the age of 69.


Cosimo di Giovanni

Cosimo di Giovanni De’ Medici A.K.A. The Elder
(1389 – 1464)

5 September 1434
1 August 1464

As the son of Giovanni de’ Medici, he inherited the entire family’s patrimony and became richer and more powerful than his father. He was one of the most influential politicians at the time of the Florence Republic.

palazzo medici“There is, in the garden, a plant which one ought to leave dry, although most people water it. It is the weed called Envy.”

infografica Cosimo

Lorenzo The Magnificent

Lorenzo The Magnificent
(1449 – 1492)

2 December 1469
9 April 1492

Grandson of Cosimo, he is the most renowned member of the Medici family. The Patron of the Renaissance who sponsored works by the most important Renaissance artists such as Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo. He financed multiple artworks including the Birth of Venus by Botticelli and the David by Michelangelo.

In 1471, Lorenzo calculated his family spendings since 1434 and found they had spent some 663,000 florins (about 460 million USD) on charity, buildings and taxes in a total of 37 years.

infografica Lorenzo il Magnifico

Pope Leo X

Pope Leo X
(1475 – 1521)

1513 – 1521

Giovanni di Lorenzo de’ Medici was the son of Lorenzo The Magnificent, and the 217th Pope of the Catholic Church.
He granted indulgences to those who donated money for the reconstruction of St. Peter’s Basilica.

When he became Pope in 1513 at the age of 37, he is quoted as saying “Since God has given us the papacy, let us enjoy it.”
He used to walk around Rome with a parade that included a white elephant.


Cosimo De' Medici

Cosimo I De’ Medici
(1519 – 1574)

1537 – 1574

Son of Mercenary Captain, Lodovico de’ Medici (a.k.a. Giovanni dalle Bande Nere) and grandson of Lorenzo the Magnificent, he became the first Grand Duke of Tuscany in 1569. He was the creator of the Uffizi and had a passion for alchemy.

He married Eleonora di Toledo (1522-1562), a Spanish noblewoman pittiand daughter of the Viceroy of Naples. She gave him 11 children and supported his artistic and cultural policies She purchased the Pitti Palace in 1549 which became property of the Medici after her death.

Cosimo was passionate about science.
In 1549 under the Loggia dei Lanzi, he exhibited a sperm whale found in Livorno.

info cosimo

Catherine de medici

Catherine De’ Medici
(1519 – 1589)

1547-1559 (queen consort)
1560-1563 (Regent queen of France)

She was the regent queen of France, married to King Henry II, and mother of three sons who became Kings of France. She is a culinary legend who both introduced and invented several foods and tools, including gelato and the fork.

santa maria novella

She didn’t like the French cuisine at King’s court, so brought with her the best Tuscan chefs and recipes, including gelato that was originally frozen and creamed egg.

info catherine

Ferdinando I

Ferdinando I
(1549 – 1609)

1587 – 1609

Son of Cosimo I and Eleonora di Toledo, he was made Cardinal at the age of 14 but was never ordained into priesthood. He was an excellent governor and politician as well as an ambitious patron of the arts.

forte belvedere

He had a famous love affair with Bianca Cappello, a beautiful Venetian who came from a noble family. They both died at the Villa of Poggio a Caiano.

info Ferdinando I

Gian Gastone De’ Medici

Gian Gastone De’ Medici

1723 – 1737

He was the last heir and the last Grand Duke of the Medici family.
He was not the typical member of the House of Medici, known in public for his depression, alcoholism, gambling, sexual exploits, and aversion to the church. Gian Gastone was highly intelligent and under his reign Florence flourished. He did not produce an heir to receive the family patrimony, which effectively ended the Medici Dynasty when he died in 1737.

In his last years he was surrounded by a band of self-seeking courtiers and servants nicknamed the ruspanti, after the coins they were paid for entertainment. At one point, there were more than 150 ruspanti coming twice a week to Pitti Palace to receive their money.

Info Gian Gastone

Anna Maria Luisa De’ Medici

Anna Maria Luisa De’ Medici
(1667 – 1743)

1691 – 1716

The woman who became Electress Palatine upon her marriage, she was the sister of Gian Gastone and a great patroness of the arts, both in Dusseldorf and Florence.
She created the famous Family Pact of 1737, preserving the artistic patrimony of the Medici family in Florence for all time.

When she signed the Family Pact, she ensured that the Medicean art and treasures collected over three centuries would remain in Florence and Tuscany for all time.

Info Anna Maria Luisa