A palatial itinerary: The visit of Cosimo III de Medici to the royal palaces of Portugal during the Iberian journey

Activity: Talk or presentationOral presentation


Before assuming the government of the Grand Duchy of Tuscany, Cosimo III de Medici organized his third and last major cultural and diplomatic expedition in Europe. Between the last months of 1668 and the first of 1669 he travelled through the Iberian kingdoms of Spain and Portugal. From January to March 1669, Cosimo visited large cities, small villages and even smaller places in Portugal.
In the Portuguese itinerary, as the diaries reveal, several buildings were admired, visited and described, such as churches, convents, monasteries, colleges, universities, fortresses, castles and palaces. Among all of them, the set of palaces belonging to or historically linked to the Portuguese Monarchy deserve particular attention. After the visits to the ducal palace of Vila Viçosa – the main house of the Bragança dynasty on the throne since 1640 –, Cosimo’s entourage went through the cities of Évora, Lisbon and Coimbra, where some of the most ancient royal palaces of Portugal were located. Furthermore, the residences and sites linked to the Crown located in Estremoz or Santarém were also visited or mentioned.
Based on the journey diaries, illustrated by several urban landscape drawings, we intend to examine the Grand Duke of Tuscany personal impressions and critical judgments about the Portuguese royal palaces and sites. More important is to analyse the information that allows us to characterize the architectonic composition of the palatial buildings, to comprehend the interior chambers disposition and function, and, above all, to identify the material campaigns in progress or recently carried out on them, mainly ignored by the Portuguese art historiography.
Period16 Jun 202217 Jun 2022
Event titleThe Medici on the road
Event typeConference
LocationFlorença, ItalyShow on map
Degree of RecognitionInternational