San Zio is the name by which the small town located along the road from Cerreto Guidi to the Arno was known in Leonardo’s time. It was inhabited already from the early Middle Ages and took its name from the ancient church of San Sentio, one of the churches in the surroundings of Vinci that belonged to the Counts Guidi until the middle of the 13th century. In the community of San Zio stood the properties of some Florentine families, like the Adimari family, but also Leonardo's family had a farm here, in the locality called a Sanzio. It was an area characterized by gentle slopes, rich in waterways, dotted with the villas and farmhouses of the typical Tuscan sharecropping landscape. From the second half of the 16th century many of the lands of the community of San Zio were purchased by the Grand Duke, together with the houses of the castle of Cerreto, on which the grand Medici villa was later built.