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The Florentian Cardinal and Medici Prince plans his trip to Rome, asking whether it would be ridiculous to arrive dressed as Catholic pilgrims, signs name in black ink
Autograph letter signed: "Prince Leopoldo" in black ink. 3 pages, 7½x10 folded, front and verso. Florence, Tuscany, Italy. 1649 December 28. In Italian, translated. In part: "Being yesterday on the voyage to come to Florence it bought to my mind the voyage I intend to make to your Holy Place and as I said I wanted the benefit of your advice. I will explain my intention and will make some questions. I intend to wait to about the 20th of March with my two carriages drawn by six horses each, and take the road of Perugin and Foligno and by the Holy House to come there and remain how long it will be convenient, and then by way of the sea, embarking at Palo come back to Livorno. I think to bring along between me and seven or eight knights and always stopping in convents of Monks where possible, but in this I wish you to advise where I could stop, what kind of Monks, or convents there are more apt. I think to dress all gentlemen and myself as Pilgrims, unless you tell me that we would be laughed at reaching there in this way...there is circulating the utterance that the French would be satisfied if the Pope would give the Vescovade of Aix. If this was true and that the Pope would like that Bichi were not in the Rota...in which His Holiness said that Bichi made the Rota turn, this would be a renunciation for Bichi and for us very much apropos...the news from Pisa are very few, being of hunts only, and there being none of gambling and of women..." Leopoldo de'Medici, here refers to Pope Innocent X. In 1648, the Holy Roman Emperor was rendered virtually powerless by the Treaty of Westphalia. The pact, signed in the German province by France, Sweden, Spain and the Holy Roman Empire fully recognized the independence of each state, ending the Thirty Years' War. Prince Leopoldo de'Medici (1617-1675) was an Italian cardinal, scholar, art patron and Governor of Siena, as well as the younger brother of Ferdinando II de'Medici, Grand Duke of Tuscany. Leopoldo was known as a disciple of Galileo, and took a great interest in science and technology; he founded the Accademia Platonia and the Accademia del Cimento to promote observation of nature through the Galilean Method, and served as a member of the Accademia della Crusa, for which he edited the entries regarding art for the 3rd edition of the Crusca Dictionary (1691). He was a collector of rare books, paintings, drawings, statues, coins and self-portraits, also leaving behind a wide correspondence with artists and art collectors of his time; he furthermore experimented with telescopic lenses and all manner of scientific instruments, commissioning the thermometers, calorimeters, hydrometers, quadrants, etc. that are still on display at the Medici's Pitti Palace. Leopoldo was named a Cardinal in 1667 by Pope Clement IX, and he began making frequent trips to Rome, pursuing his artistic interests. Lightly creased and stained. Show through of ink. Chemical reaction of ink has resulted in holes at some words. Otherwise, fine condition.

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Born: November 6, 1617 in Palazzo Pitti, Florence, Tuscany, Italy
Died: November 16, 1675 in Florence, Tuscany, Italy

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