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The Medici: Masterminds of the Renaissance


As we approach the end of October, tourist season in Italy is winding down. It's been a wild ride for those of us in the passenger transport business, after two years in a Covid standstill. Despite the difficulties, it's been great to get the engines going again (both literally and figuratively) and to see the shining faces of guests old and new.

Now that travel is slowing, we thought it might be fun to start feeding you ideas about TV series and films that will get your juices flowing for next year’s travel plans.

If you’re already planning on coming to Italy, swell! These shows should help shape your plans. If you haven’t yet decided where to travel to in 2023, we hope to whet your appetite for an Italian adventure.

The Medici: Masters of Florence, Masterminds of the Renaissance


First on our list of things to watch is The Medici (with the accent on the first syllable, MED-ee-chee).

The Medici series is a sumptuous British-Italian co-production featuring some of the UK’s finest actors with a few Italians sprinkled in. Most noteworthy amongst the Italian players is Guido Caprino, perfect in the role of Marco Bello (pictured in the featured image above), Cosimo de’ Medici’s counselor, bodyguard, and hitman. Miriam Leone is entirely too lovely as Bianca, who sets the stage for Cosimo’s future resentment for and conflict with his parents and wife.

The 3-part series, shot on location in Tuscany, Lazio, and Lombardia, is pure eye-candy, whether it’s gorgeous long shots of the countryside or delectable Medieval architecture or luscious period costumes. Besides the visual drugs, you will get hooked on the story, which weaves the tale of the Medici family’s rise to power and influence in 15th Century Florence that basically gave birth to the Renaissance, radically altering the course of history and gifting us the stupendous works of art that draw millions from around the globe to Italy every year.

The sponsorship of the Medici in le belle arti — the fine arts — advanced the careers of such legendary artists as Donatello, Botticelli, Michelangelo, Brunelleschi, and da Vinci. The wealth of works produced by these painters, sculptors, and architects includes such glorious masterpieces as the painting of The Birth of Venus, the dome of the Florence cathedral, and a variety of sculptures of the young Hebrew hero, David.

When it comes to David, the image that immediately comes to mind is Michelangelo’s towering masterpiece, now housed in the Accademia gallery in Florence. But the revolutionary sculptural story of our slingshot-bearing youth begins some decades earlier, with Donatello.

Although The Medici production takes creative license with certain dates and historical facts, Donatello’s David, commissioned by the Medici in the 1430s, is accurately portrayed as the controversial work of art that it was in its day. The first nude male statue since classical antiquity, Donatello’s freestanding bronze caused a stir when it was unveiled but its impact as a groundbreaking achievement prevailed, paving the way for a shift in artistic style from Gothic to Classical that would define the Renaissance.

Historically accurate and beautifully portrayed in The Medici series, David is the emblem of Florence: the fledgling underdog defending itself against much bigger and more powerful foes, ultimately vanquishing all.

As fall gives way to winter, we recommend curling up under a blanket to take in The Medici and dream of summer under the Tuscan sun. When it comes to stuff dreams are made of., this series will not disappoint.


To learn more about Donatello and his importance to the Renaissance, please check out this article in The Art Story.

For more on the Medici, this article on History.com gives a good overview.



DriverInRome would be pleased to chauffeur you around Tuscany (or anywhere in Italy) with a private car and driver, or arrange a licensed guide just for your group.  Please contact us regarding popular or custom itineraries.

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