As one of the most powerful and influential dynasties during the Renaissance period, ruling for over three centuries, you can be certain that there are plenty of great Medici books detailing the family’s rise and fall.
From their political machinations to their patronage of the arts to their influence on what we know as modern-day Italy, the Medici family left an undeniable mark on the history of the country and beyond. With so much Medici history to explore, trying to figure out where to start can be quite overwhelming.
In this guide, we will outline some of the best books on the Medici family and provide you with a roadmap to delve into the dramatic and fascinating world of a powerful Renaissance family.
The House of Medici: Its Rise and Fall, by Christopher Hibbert
Arguably one of the most popular books on the Medici family, The House of Medici: Its Rise and Fall, by Christopher Hibbert, offers a complete and detailed account of the powerful family from the first appearance of Cosimo and Giovanni di Bicci until the very last of the family members during the late 1700s.
This book is absolutely enthralling, detailing the massive influence the family had on Florence’s cultural, political, and economic history. You’ll almost learn what it was like to live in Florence at the time while getting an in-depth look at the family’s many dramas.
The House of Medici: Its Rise and Fall
Read more: The Top 12 Books About Florence
The Medici: Godfathers of the Renaissance, by Paul Strathern
Paul Strathern is another one of our favorite writers, and The Medici: Godfathers of the Renaissance delivers a story about just how influential the Medici family was during the Italian Renaissance.
The story covers everything from the powers to the dramas to the seemingly endless ambition that this family had. In particular, this is one of the few Medici books that also details how the Medici family was deeply involved with the great scientists and painters during the era. If you want to see how much one family changed the face of modern-day Europe, this is certainly a book that you can’t miss.
The Medici: Godfathers of the Renaissance
Catherine de Medici: Renaissance Queen of France, by Leonie Frieda
Leonie Frieda is the author of the brilliant Catherine de Medici: Renaissance Queen of France, a book that acts as a portrait of one of history’s most fearless women. As a despot, a poisoner, a necromancer, a besotted mother, and a creator of a massacre, there is a reason why the legends of Catherine de Medici have lasted for so many generations.
This is one of the best Medici books that focus on Catherine’s story in great detail, based on thousands of her own letters.
Catherine de Medici: Renaissance Queen of France
Magnifico: The Brilliant Life and Violent Times of Lorenzo de Medici, by Miles J. Unger
Magnifico: The Brilliant Life and Violent Times of Lorenzo de Medici, by Miles J. Unger, paints a wildly brilliant picture of Lorenzo de’ Medici. Lorenzo was a ruler without a crown during the golden age of Florence.
Many refer to him as a proclaimed “Renaissance man,” dazzling his peers with his undeniably magnetic personality and his many talents. Historians often referred to Lorenzo as Il Magnifico, or “The Magnificent,” as he was a well-renowned poet and philosopher. For a more detailed focus on a singular Medici family member, this is one of the best Medici books out there.
Magnifico: The Brilliant Life and Violent Times of Lorenzo de Medici
Miles J. Unger
The Medici (Italian Histories), by Paul Strathern
Another Paul Strathern book on the list, The Medici (Italian Histories) delivers a dramatically vivid and authoritative account of the Medici family and the incredible amount of influence they had over Europe.
As you likely already know, the story of this once-modest family that rose to power is an incredible one. Strathern describes the family against the background of an age that lauded ancient and classical learning. It also paints a portrait of the Italian Renaissance, its importance, and how hard the family worked to support and encourage it.
The Medici (Italian Histories)
Medici Money: Banking, Metaphysics, and Art in Fifteenth-Century Florence, by Tim Parks
Tim Parks can tell a story like no one else, even when he is writing about a topic that is as in-depth and complex as the Florentine Renaissance economy. The beauty of Medici Money: Banking, Metaphysics, and Art in Fifteenth-Century Florence is that Tim manages to make the book very enjoyable.
The Medici family played some of the main roles in the economic system during this time, and, as such, they play a major role in this book. See how the history of our modern banking system unfolded with the Medici family at the center.
Medici Money: Banking, Metaphysics, and Art in Fifteenth-Century Florence (Enterprise)
The Confessions of Catherine de Medici: A Novel, by C.W. Gortner
The Confessions of Catherine de Medici: A Novel, by C.W. Gortner is quite unique in the realm of Medici books, as it explores the family from a singular perspective on the inside. Catherine de Medici was one of the last descendants of the renowned family line.
She was married to Henri, the son of France’s Francois I, and was expelled from her home in Florence. Catherine, in a realm completely unfamiliar to her, looks to build a life for herself using the patronage of Nostradamus, a famous clairvoyant. It’s a book that almost feels as if you’re peering behind the curtain of the family and getting a deeper look at what it was like to come from a place of so much power just to lose your reputation.
The Confessions of Catherine de Medici: A Novel
The Medici Villas: Complete Guide, by Isabella Lapi Ballerini
The entire range of Medici Villas throughout Tuscany and Florence offers plenty for the public to explore, and The Medici Villas: Complete Guide by Isabella Lapi Ballerini, does an excellent job at taking readers on a journey of them.
The book is divided into two sections, exploring the Florentine Museum System and the Medici Villas.
The Medici Villas: Complete Guide
Isabella Lapi Ballerini