Medici
Screenshot Medici Masters of Florence Netflix Title Sequence.png
Title card from the first season
GenreHistorical drama, Political thriller
Created by
Starring
Opening themeRenaissance (From "Medici: Masters of Florence")
by Paolo Buonvino & Skin (musician) [1]
Composer(s)
Country of originItaly
United Kingdom
No. of series2
No. of episodes16 (list of episodes)
Production
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
Release
Original networkRai 1 (Italy)
Picture format4K (Ultra HD)
First shown inItaly
Original release18 October 2016 (2016-10-18) –
present
External links
Website

Medici (Italian: I Medici) is an Italian-British historical drama created by Frank Spotnitz and Nicholas Meyer. Frank Spotnitz also produced the series under his production tag, Big Light Productions, in collaboration with Lux Vide and Rai Fiction. [2]

The series premiered in Italy on Rai 1 on 18 October 2016.[3] The series follows the Medici family, bankers of the Pope, during Renaissance Florence. Each season follows the events of a particular moment of the family history exploring the political and artistic landscape of Renaissance Italy.

The first season, titled Medici: Masters of Florence, takes place in 1429, the year Giovanni de' Medici, head of the family, died. His son Cosimo de Medici succeeds him as head of the family bank, the richest bank of Europe at that time, and fights to preserve his power in Florence. The second season, titled Medici: The Magnificent, takes place 20 years later and tells the story of Cosimo's grandson Lorenzo de Medici (known as the Magnificent). A third season has also been filmed, that will complete the story of Lorenzo, and it is set to premiere in Italy in November 2019.

Despite being criticised for some historical inaccuracies, the series reached between four and eight million viewers on original airings. According to Italian ratings compiler Auditel, the broadcast of the first episode attracted a record 8.04 million viewers.[4]

The programme is broadcast in several countries, Netflix carries the show in the US, Canada, Argentina on Fox Premium, the UK, Ireland and India.[5] SFR's premium SVOD service Zive in France and Sky 1 in Germany.[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.

Plot

Season 1

Florence, 1429. Giovanni de' Medici is a rich banker who also represents one of the most important political forces of Florence's Signoria. He has a plan to increase his family power by making an agreement with the Church of Rome. The election of a new Pope is about to take place and Giovanni sends his sons Cosimo and Lorenzo to Rome in order to encourage the election of a Pope close to his family. In Rome, Cosimo, fascinated by the beauty of ancient architectures and art, meets Donatello and one of his models Bianca. Cosimo falls in love with her but is then forced to leave her and marry Contessina de Bardi, a political marriage arranged by Giovanni and Contessina's father. The Medici's candidate gets elected, which ensures to the bank of the Medici an unparalleled economic power. Twenty years later, Giovanni is mysteriously murdered and Cosimo and Lorenzo try to secretly investigate his death. Meanwhile the political situation in the city is troubled by plots against the Medici family's power, and their vision for the future of Florence - which will then lead to the Renaissance - is in danger. Cosimo's dream is to complete the Duomo of Florence, but no architect seems to have a feasible solution due to the shape of the base created for the dome. Finally, Filippo Brunelleschi introduces himself to Cosimo and shows him plans for the dome. Cosimo decides to trust Brunelleschi and the construction of the dome starts, bringing jobs and people to Florence. Meanwhile, the mystery surrounding the death of Giovanni thickens and Rinaldo Albizzi, Cosimo's main opponent in the Signoria, tries to block the construction and to incite the people to rise up against the Medicis.

Season 2

Twenty years have passed since the events of the first season. Piero, Cosimo's son, and his wife Lucrezia are now at the head of the family. The power of the Medici has consolidated over time, but an assassination attempt on Piero brings to light his mismanagement of the family bank. The Sforza family have the greatest debt towards the bank and manage to make an agreement with Piero to erase their debts. The solution proposed by Sforza would also bring about the invasion of Florence. Lorenzo, Piero's son, in order to avoid the fall of Florence, takes over the role of his father both in the government of the Signoria and as head of the family, avoiding the invasion. Although he has a relationship with a married woman, Lucrezia Donati, Lorenzo eventually accepts marriage with a rich Roman noblewoman, Clarice Orsini. His brother Giuliano and his dear friend Sandro Botticelli, both meet and fall in love with Simonetta, although in different ways. Botticelli's interest is an artistic one and leads to the painting of Venus and Mars in which Simonetta is represented alongside Giuliano. The Pazzi family, led by Jacopo Pazzi and his nephew Francesco, join forces with the Pope in order to increase the Church's control of nearby territories and mines, in opposition to the Medici's policy. This argument will eventually lead to a conspiracy against Lorenzo in an attempt to put an end to his power and his dream of a peaceful and culturally alive Florence.

Episodes

SeriesSeason TitleEpisodesOriginally aired
First airedLast aired
1Medici: Masters of Florence818 October 2016 (2016-10-18)8 November 2016 (2016-11-08)
2Medici: The Magnificent823 October 2018 (2018-10-23)13 November 2018 (2018-11-13)

The third season is set to premiere in Italy on November 12, 2019. [8]

Cast

Season 1

Season 2

Guest

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

Production

Sergio Mimica-Gezzan directed all eight episodes in the first season.[2] The show’s world premiere took place in Florence at Palazzo Vecchio on the 14 October 2016, ahead of its premiere airing on RAI 1 on October 18.

Filming for the second season started in Rome on 24 August 2017.[10]

On 28 August 2018 filming for the third season started in Formello, outside Rome.[11]

Historical accuracy

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".[12]

Locations

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.[13]
  • 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.[14]

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.[15]
  • 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.[16]
  • 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

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.[17]

Home media

Season DVD releases
Italy United Kingdom
Medici: Masters of Florence March 22, 2017 (2017-03-22) December 11, 2017 (2017-12-11)
Medici: The Magnificent January 24, 2019 (2019-01-24) -

The second season was also released in Blu-Ray (Region B) on the 24 January 2019. Both Italian editions have the original audio track in English and the Italian-dubbed audio track.

Other media

On the 16 October 2018, a novelisation of the events told in the second season titled I Medici - Lorenzo il Magnifico was published in Italy by Michele Gazo.

Soundtrack

The soundtrack for the series was composed by Paolo Buonvino.[18] The opening theme song Renaissance has been produced with the collaboration of Skin. A videoclip for the song has been also published on the day before the series premiered in Italy. [19]

The opening theme song for the second season changed. Skin and Buonvino collaborated for the a variation of the original opening sequence song titled Revolution Bones. This version of the song has not been released. Ian Arber composed additional music for the second season.

Reception

Awards

Year Association Category Nominee(s) Result
2016 Capri TV series Award TV series Medici: Masters of Florence Won
2018 La Chioma di Berenice Best Makeup in Fiction[20] Giancarlo Del Brocco (for Medici: Masters of Florence) Won
Best Production Design in Fiction[20] Francesco Frigeri (for Medici: Masters of Florence) Won
Best Costumes in Fiction[21] Alessandro Lai (for Medici: Masters of Florence) Nominated
Best Soundtrack[21] Paolo Buonvino (for Medici: Masters of Florence) Nominated
Best Hairstyling[21] Francesco Pegoretti (for Medici: Masters of Florence) Nominated
2019 MUSIC+SOUND Awards Best Original Composition in Television Programme Titles[22] Medici: The Magnificent Nominated

References

  1. ^ "Renaissance (From "Medici: Masters of Florence")". iTunes. Apple Inc. 14 October 2016. Retrieved 1 January 2017.
  2. ^ a b Friedlander, Whitney; Friedlander, Whitney (24 September 2015). "Dustin Hoffman, Richard Madden to Star in TV Drama About Italy's Medici Family". Variety. Retrieved 16 July 2019.
  3. ^ Keslassy, Elsa (21 October 2016). "'Medici' With Dustin Hoffman, Richard Madden Sets Italy Ratings Record". Variety. Penske Business Media, LLC. Retrieved 23 October 2016.
  4. ^ "Les Médicis, Maîtres de Florence : carton d'audience pour la série de SFR Play". Toutelatele (in French). Retrieved 16 July 2019.
  5. ^ 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.
  6. ^ 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.
  7. ^ "Medici: Masters of Florence premiering on SBS this April". MediaWeek. 4 April 2017. Retrieved 30 November 2018.
  8. ^ http://www.raipubblicita.it/download/palinsesti_editoriali_tv/autunno_2019/tvprogram_autunno2019_tutti-i-canali.pdf
  9. ^ 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.
  10. ^ Clarke, Stewart; Clarke, Stewart (10 August 2017). "Daniel Sharman and Bradley James Join Netflix's 'Medici' (EXCLUSIVE)". Variety. Retrieved 16 July 2019.
  11. ^ Vivarelli, Nick; Vivarelli, Nick (28 August 2018). "Christian Duguay, Francesco Montanari Board 'Medici' Season 3 (EXCLUSIVE)". Variety. Retrieved 16 July 2019.
  12. ^ Show Patrol. 17 November 2015.
  13. ^ "I Medici Masters of Florence tv series location: Castle Bracciano". Gismonda. 26 January 2017. Retrieved 28 October 2018.
  14. ^ "Medici Masters of Florence tv series locations: Palazzo Farnese in Caprarola". Gismonda. 6 March 2017. Retrieved 28 October 2018.
  15. ^ "Medici Masters of Florence tv series locations: Castle of Santa Severa". Gismonda. 28 January 2017. Retrieved 28 October 2018.
  16. ^ "Medici Masters of Florence tv series locations: Castle of Rota". Gismonda. 26 February 2017. Retrieved 28 October 2018.
  17. ^ Medicimastersoflorence.com
  18. ^ "Filmografia". Paolo Buonvino. Retrieved 14 July 2019.
  19. ^ PaoloBuonvinoVEVO (17 October 2016), Paolo Buonvino & Skin - Renaissance (Music From "Medici Masters of Florence" Tv Series), retrieved 14 July 2019
  20. ^ a b "http://www.premioberenicecna.it/edizione/20-edizione/" (in Italian). Retrieved 16 July 2019. External link in |title= (help)
  21. ^ a b c "LA CHIOMA DI BERENICE 2018 - Le nomination - CinemaItaliano.info". cinemaitaliano.info (in Italian). Retrieved 24 July 2019.
  22. ^ "2019 Composition Finalists". Music+Sound Awards. Retrieved 24 July 2019.

External links

  • Medici on IMDb
  • Richard Madden, Italy & the 'Medici'. Show Patrol. 17 November 2015.
  • Trailer on YouTube (English with French Subtitles). Posted 8 October 2016.
  • Medici: Masters of Florence Dedicated Website
  • Review Medici : Master of Florence on Bulles de Culture