Medici: Masters of Florence

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Medici: Masters of Florence
Screenshot Medici Masters of Florence Netflix Title Sequence.png
GenreHistorical fiction
Created by
Opening themeRenaissance (From "Medici: Masters of Florence")
by Paolo Buonvino & Skin (musician) [1]
Country of origin
  • Italy
  • United Kingdom
No. of series2
No. of episodes16 (list of episodes)
Executive producer(s)
  • Frank Spotnitz
  • Luca Bernabei
  • Matilde Bernabei
  • Richard Madden (season 2)
Producer(s)Fania Petrocchi
Running time52 minutes
Production company(s)Lux Vide
Big Light Productions
Rai Fiction
Original networkRai 1 (Italy)
Original release18 October 2016 (2016-10-18) –
External links

Medici: Masters of Florence is the first season of the Italian-British television drama series Medici about the Medici dynasty set in 15th-century Florence, starring Dustin Hoffman as Giovanni di Bicci de' Medici, Richard Madden as Cosimo de' Medici, and Stuart Martin as Lorenzo de' Medici. The series was co-created by Frank Spotnitz (The X-Files and The Man in the High Castle) and Nicholas Meyer (Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan). Sergio Mimica-Gezzan (The Pillars of the Earth) directed all eight episodes. Episodes 1 and 2 aired on Rai 1 (Italian TV) on 18 October 2016. According to Italian ratings compiler Auditel, it attracted a record 7.6 million viewers.[2] The first season consists of eight episodes.

The show has been renewed for a second season Medici: The Magnificent , with Sean Bean appearing as Jacopo de' Pazzi.[3][4] It is broadcast in several countries around the world, on SFR's premium SVOD service Zive in France and Sky 1 in Germany.[5] Netflix carries the show in the US, Canada, Argentina on Fox Premium, the UK, Ireland and India.[6] In Australia, the series was broadcast by SBS.[7] In Portugal, the series was broadcast by RTP1. In Serbia the series was broadcast by RTS2.


The series is set in the 15th-century Florence, and the protagonist is Cosimo the Elder, who was elected head of the Florentine Republic in 1434. Cosimo has inherited the Bank of Medici from his father Giovanni, who has been mysteriously poisoned. Through various flashbacks (20 years prior), we are introduced to Florence at the time of Giovanni, and to his relationship with his sons Cosimo and Lorenzo.



Character Actor / Season
Season 1 Season 2
Piero de' Medici Alessandro Sperduti Julian Sands
Lucrezia de' Medici Valentina Bellè Sarah Parish
Contessina de' Medici Annabel Scholey
Marco Bello Guido Caprino
Cosimo de' Medici Richard Madden
Lorenzo de' Medici (The Elder) Stuart Martin
Giovanni de' Medici Dustin Hoffman
Ugo Bencini Ken Bones
Rinaldo degli Albizzi Lex Shrapnel
Andrea Pazzi Daniel Caltagirone
Filippo Brunelleschi Alessandro Preziosi
Ormanno Albizzi Eugenio Franceschini
Maddalena Sarah Felberbaum
Bianca Miriam Leone
Ricciardo Michael Schermi
Emilia Tatjana Inez Nardone
Alessandra Albizzi Valentina Cervi
Bernardo Guadagni Brian Cox
Jacopo de' Pazzi Sean Bean
Lorenzo de' Medici (The Magnificent) Daniel Sharman
Giuliano de' Medici Bradley James
Francesco de' Pazzi Matteo Martari
Clarice Orsini Synnøve Karlsen
Sandro Botticelli Sebastian de Souza
Pope Sixtus IV Raul Bova
Lucrezia Donati Alessandra Mastronardi
Carlo de' Medici Callum Blake
Alessandro de' Bardi David Bradley
Piccarda de' Medici Frances Barber
Messer Calvacanti Luigi Diberti
Donatello Ben Starr
Pope Eugene IV David Bamber
Antipope John XXIII (Cardinal Cossa) Steven Waddington
Corona Alberto Sette

Season 1[edit]

Season 2[edit]



Historical accuracy[edit]

During an interview at the Roma Fest panel in 2015, Spotnitz stated, "the season will be more thriller than historical saga... we begin the show with a 'what if' because we don't know how Giovanni de' Medici died. One of the questions that haunts Cosimo, is whether his father was murdered".[9]


Several noticeable locations are used throughout the series, in addition to sets and sound stages:

  • Bracciano Castle: The principal courtyards and staircases of the Orsini-Odescalchi castle in Bracciano serve as streets in Florence, a palace in Rome, and the ancestral home of Contessina de' Bardi. The central courtyard in the Castle features a particularly recognisable staircase with the sculpture of a bear; this staircase becomes the principal entrance of the Medici home in Florence with the addition of the Medici Coat of Arms.[10]
  • The Villa Farnese in Caprarola and its gardens: The frescoed and ring-vaulted internal terrace-courtyard of Villa Caprarola doubles as a Medici villa in the series, while an un-frescoed terrace is used as a Vatican property in Rome. The Caprarola secret gardens with their unique fountains are used to represent the Vatican Gardens.[11]

The creators took significant liberties with sets, often showing interior decorations, works of art, and exterior landscapes that were created many years after the events described in the series which occur in the mid-1430s. For example, the Medici Palazzo was built in 1440s–1480s and the Benozzo Gozzoli frescoes of Magi Chapel shown in the Cosimo study were executed in 1459–61. The Lorenzo rooms are decorated with the Giulio Romano fresco "Mars and Venus" which was painted in the 1520s in Palazzo Te in Mantova. During the episode exile in Venice, the church of Santa Maria della Salute built in the 1630s is repeatedly shown as part of the Venice city landscape. Villa Medici contains "Fortitude and Temperance with Six Antique Heroes" by Perugino, painted in 1497.

  • Castle of Santa Severa is Cardinal Baldassarre Cossa's Palace.[12]
  • The medieval oldtown of Viterbo and its Palazzo dei Papi are the set for late medieval Rome.
  • Hadrian's Villa in Tivoli is another set for Rome; Cosimo meets Donatello along the Canopus.
  • Borgo di Rota, a frazione of Tolfa, is the set for Francesco Sforza's army camp and the village where Lorenzo meets mercenary Ferzetti.[13]
  • Pienza: used as the Palazzo Medici, the streets of Florence, and the background for Cosimo's wedding.
  • Montepulciano: Several scenes are filmed outside the Duomo using the unfinished façade of the cathedral as a backdrop. These scenes often incorrectly show the Duomo of Florence rising in the background to the north. The Communal Palace, also in Piazza Grande, is part of several scenes, as is the Church of San Biagio.

Technical details[edit]

Medici: Masters of Florence was originated in 4k video and broadcast in this format on the free Italian satellite service Tivu whilst on the Italian Digital Terrestrial service DVB-T2 it was broadcast in Full-HD 1920×1080.

Two audio tracks were broadcast: Rai TV gave satellite and terrestrial viewers the option to watch the series in Italian or English.[14]


SeasonEpisodesOriginally aired
First airedLast aired
18October 18, 2016 (2016-10-18)November 8, 2016 (2016-11-08)
28October 23, 2018 (2018-10-23)[15]November 13, 2018 (2018-11-13)[15]



  • Winner of the 2016 Capri TV Series Award.


  1. ^ "Renaissance (From "Medici: Masters of Florence")". iTunes. Apple Inc. 14 October 2016. Retrieved 1 January 2017.
  2. ^ Keslassy, Elsa (21 October 2016). "'Medici' With Dustin Hoffman, Richard Madden Sets Italy Ratings Record". Variety. Penske Business Media, LLC. Retrieved 23 October 2016.
  3. ^ "Medici: Masters of Florence Renewed For Season 2!". Renew Cancel TV. 9 April 2016. Retrieved 30 November 2018.
  4. ^ Clarke, Stewart (16 June 2017). "Sean Bean and '24' Showrunner Join Second Season of 'Medici'". Variety. Penske Business Media, LLC. Retrieved 16 June 2017.
  5. ^ Barraclough, Leo (3 November 2016). "Pay-TV Operator Sky Launches Entertainment Channel Sky 1 in Germany, Austria". Variety. Penske Business Media, LLC. Retrieved 30 November 2018.
  6. ^ Munn, Patrick (24 November 2016). "Wild Bunch TV Sells Big Light's 'Medici: Masters Of Florence' To Netflix In US, Canada & India". TV Wise. Disqus. Retrieved 30 November 2018.
  7. ^ "Medici: Masters of Florence premiering on SBS this April". MediaWeek. 4 April 2017. Retrieved 30 November 2018.
  8. ^ a b c d e f g h Clarke, Stewart (10 August 2017). "Daniel Sharman and Bradley James Join Netflix's 'Medici' (EXCLUSIVE)". Variety. Retrieved 11 August 2017.
  9. ^ Show Patrol. 17 November 2015.
  10. ^ "I Medici Masters of Florence tv series location: Castle Bracciano". Gismonda. 26 January 2017. Retrieved 28 October 2018.
  11. ^ "Medici Masters of Florence tv series locations: Palazzo Farnese in Caprarola". Gismonda. 6 March 2017. Retrieved 28 October 2018.
  12. ^ "Medici Masters of Florence tv series locations: Castle of Santa Severa". Gismonda. 28 January 2017. Retrieved 28 October 2018.
  13. ^ "Medici Masters of Florence tv series locations: Castle of Rota". Gismonda. 26 February 2017. Retrieved 28 October 2018.
  14. ^
  15. ^ a b "Medici: Masters of Florence – Episodes Guide and Summaries". Next Episode. Retrieved 3 October 2018.

External links[edit]