Medici: Masters of Florence

Medici: Masters of Florence is a television drama series about the Medici dynasty 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 Elder ). The series was co-created by Frank Spotnitz ( The X-Files and 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, 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]


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 .

Historical Accuracy

During an interview with the Roma Fest panel in 2015, Spotnitz stated, “the season will be more thriller than historical saga.” Giovanni de ‘Medici died. One of the questions that haunts Cosimo, if his father was murdered “. [7]



  • Richard Madden as Cosimo de ‘Medici : Head of the Medici
  • Stuart Martin as Lorenzo de ‘Medici : Cosimo’s brother
  • Annabel Scholey as Contessina de ‘Bardi : Cosimo’s wife
  • Guido Caprino as Marco Bello: Cosimo’s loyal friend and ally
  • Alessandro Sperduti as Piero de ‘Medici : Cosimo’s Sound
  • Ken Bones as Ugo Bencini: Administrator of the Medici Bank
  • Lex Shrapnel as Rinaldo degli Albizzi : Cosimo’s enemy
  • Daniel Caltagirone as Andrea Pazzi: A powerful member of the Signoria
  • Valentina Bellè as Lucrezia Tornabuoni : Piero’s wife
  • Alessandro Preziosi as Filippo Brunelleschi
  • Eugenio Franceschini as Ormanno Albizzi: Rinaldo and Alessandra’s
  • Sarah Felberbaum as Maddalena: Cosimo’s lover in Venice and Florence
  • Miriam Leone as Bianca: Cosimo’s lover in Rome
  • Michael Schermi as Ricciardo: A common man of Florence, loyal to Cosimo
  • Tatjana Inez Nardone as Emilia: Contessina’s maid
  • Valentina Cervi as Alessandra Albizzi: Rinaldo’s wife
  • Brian Cox as Bernardo Guadagni : Officer of the Signoria
  • Dustin Hoffman as Giovanni di Bicci de ‘Medici : Cosimo and Lorenzo’s father

Guest Cast

  • David Bradley as Alessandro Bardi: Contessina’s father
  • Frances Barber as Piccarda Bueri : Cosimo and Lorenzo’s mother
  • Luigi Diberti as Messer Cavalcanti
  • Ben Starr as Donatello
  • David Bamber as Pope Eugene IV
  • Steven Waddington as Cossa
  • Alberto Sette as Corona

Technical Details

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

Two soundtracks were transmitted: – Rai TV gave satellite and terrestrial decoder viewers the option to watch it in Italian or English. [8]


Several reviews and ratings,

  • Bracciano Castle : The main 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 recognizable staircase with the sculpture of a bear; This staircase becomes the main entrance of the Medici home in Florence with the addition of the Medici Coat of Arms. [9]
  • The Villa Farnese in Caprarola and its gardens: The frescoed and ring-vaulted internal courtyard of Villa Caprarola double as a Medici Villa in the series, while an unfrescoed terrace is used as a Vatican property in Rome. The Caprarola Secret Gardens with their unique fountains are used to represent the Vatican Gardens. [10]

The creators, which have been created 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 were executed in 1459-1461. 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 1630’s is shown again 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 located in Cossa’s Palace. [11]
  • 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. [12]
  • 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 facade 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.


No. title Directed by Written by Original air date Italy viewers
1 “Original Sin” Sergio Mimica-Gezzan Frank Spotnitz , Nicholas Meyer 18 October 2016 8.04 [13]
When Giovanni di Bicci de ‘Medici is poisoned his son Cosimo takes Marco Bello to investigate the murder. Cosimo is elected to his father’s seat on the Signoria where Rinaldo degli Albizzi , the family’s rival, is pushing for war with Milan because they attacked Lucca. 20 years earlier, Giovanni feels Cosimo and his elder brother Lorenzo to Rome with bribes to install a cardinal as Pope and gain control of the Vatican’s banking. Cosimo Who wants to be an artist, meets Donatello and falls in love with His beautiful model Bianca goal Giovanni finds out and Has the studio shut down Bianca driving away.
2 “The Dome and the Domicile” Sergio Mimica-Gezzan Frank Spotnitz 18 October 2016 7.14 [14]
The war with Milan is going badly and Florence’s economy is in ruins. Cosimo funds Filippo Brunelleschi to build a dome for the cathedral creating a work between Lucca and the Duke of Milan for peace. 20 years earlier, Giovanni forces Cosimo to marry Contessina, the strong-willed daughter of a noble banker with financial problems, forcing Cosimo to give up his dreams of being an artist.
3 “Pestilence” Sergio Mimica-Gezzan Sophie Petzal 25 October 2016 6.73 [15]
Florence is hit by the Black Plague and Cosimo moves the family to the safety of Their estate outside the city. Albizzi turns the people against Cosimo and his dome blaming the plague on God’s wrath at the Medici’s usury. Cosimo returns to Florence and turns the cathedral into a hospice for plague victims to save the dome. Lorenzo overrules Contessina and sells the family’s wool business making their financial problems public. Albizzi has Cosimo arrested after Marco breaks into a house to gather evidence on Giovanni’s murder. 20 years earlier, Cosimo and Contessina struggle to trust each other and make their marriage work.
4 “Judgment Day” Sergio Mimica-Gezzan Alex von Tunzelmann 25 October 2016 6.32 [16]
Albizzi accuses Cosimo of usury and trying to overthrow the republic. Cosimo is sentenced to death. Lorenzo buys the Sforza army and threatens to invade Florence. Contessina storms the Signoria on horseback and persuades them to exile Cosimo to prevent war. 20 years earlier, Cosimo ‘s friend Albizzi tells him that his family has lost.
5 “Temptation” Sergio Mimica-Gezzan Francesca Gardiner 1 November 2016 6.50
Albizzi hires mercenaries and exiles the Medici’s allies to gain control of Florence. Contessina turns down with her old lover, who was forced to abandon when she was betrothed to Cosimo. In Venice, Cosimo lobbies The Doge to back his return to Florence, and with information supplied by Contessina thwarts Albizzi’s attempt to make an alliance through marriage. The Doge gives Cosimo a beautiful slave named Maddelena which he teaches to draw and then falls for. Albizzi tries to seize the Signoria but he is betrayed by Pazzi and arrested.
6 “Ascendancy” Sergio Mimica-Gezzan Mark Denton , Jonny Stockwood 1 November 2016 6.02
Cosimo is welcomed back to Florence and pays off the mercenaries who are terrorizing the town because they have not been paid. Cosimo finally makes up with Contessina and ends his relationship with Maddelena. The Pope seeks sanctuary with the Medici when Rome is attacked. At the Pope’s urging, Cosimo persuades the Signoria to show mercy and exile Albizzi instead of executing him. While the Pope wounds Cosimo’s cathedral, Albizzi and his son are murdered in the woods by the mercenaries.
7 “Purgatory” Sergio Mimica-Gezzan Emilia di Girolamo 8 November 2016 6.42
Cosimo is a local olive merchant elected to the Signoria to fill Albrizzi’s vacant seat, but the merchant is murdered and Pazzi is elected while Cosimo is absent. After Marco reveals that the apothecary was killed with Lorenzo’s dagger, Cosimo has Lorenzo locked in his room. Marco sleeps with Maddelena causing tension with Cosimo. Lorenzo claims Marco, who marco denies and Cosimo allows him to leave. Ugo reveals that Rosa was carrying Lorenzo’s child and Giovanni had her shipped off to a home for unmarried mothers, but they were both killed.
8 “Epiphany” Sergio Mimica-Gezzan John Fay 8 November 2016 6.26
Rumors of Cosimo ‘s Hand in Rinaldo degli Albizzi ‘ s murder leads to the threat of the Medici Bank losing the papal accounts – their largest and most important account. Lorenzo investigates Bredani’s murder, and whether the Pazzi’s had anything to do with it, while Cosimo looks for a way to retain the papal accounts. All of it leads to some shocking twists and revelations.


  1. Jump up^ “Renaissance (From” Medici: Masters of Florence “) . Creazioni Artistiche Musicali CAM Srl / Empty Lux. 14 October 2016 . Retrieved 1 January 2017 .
  2. Jump up^ Keslassy, ​​Elsa (21 October 2016). ” ‘ Medici’ With Dustin Hoffman, Richard Madden Sets Italy Ratings Record” . Variety . Retrieved 23 October 2016 .
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  4. Jump up^ Clarke, Stewart (June 16, 2017). “Sean Bean and ’24’ Showrunner Join Second Season of ‘Medici’ (EXCLUSIVE)” . Variety . Retrieved 16 June 2017 .
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  7. Jump up^ Show Patrol. 17 November 2015.
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