On folio 17v of Madrid Ms. II, Leonardo draws in sequence the hills to the south of Florence from Monteoliveto to Bellosguardo as far as Montici. Lower down he indicates "Pitti", very probably the Villa di Rusciano, built by Brunelleschi for Luca Pitti, recalled by Vasari as a «rich and magnificent palace».
Monteoliveto is the hill at the gates of Florence, just outside San Frediano, where in 1472 the church of San Bartolomeo with its monastery was enlarged and remodelled in Renaissance style. In 1867 the Annunciation, formerly attributed to Domenico Ghirlandaio and today attributed by most critics to Leonardo, was taken from here and transported to the Uffizi.
In the church is a Last Supper by Sodoma, a follower of Leonardo.
Leonardo portrays with special evidence the tower of Bellosguardo, which formed part of the castle owned by the Cavalcanti and the Capponi families. It stands on the hill of the same name at 130 metres above sea level. Villa Le Lune, or Villa dello Strozzino (a Renaissance building owned by the Strozzi) is also found on this hill.
In the vicinity of Arcetri, on the street that, from Torre del Gallo, crosses Pian dei Giullari and descends to the Villa di Rusciano, at 204 metres above sea level, stands the fourteenth-century church of Santa Margherita a Montici, with its bell tower (stenographically sketched by Leonardo and emerging in the landscape of the Val d’Ema). In the church are works of art by the Master of Santa Cecilia and Andrea Sansovino. The locality of Montici appears again on folio 21r of Madrid Ms. II, where it is shown in a dominant position overlooking the valley of the Ema.

Texts by
Alessandro Vezzosi, in collaboration with Agnese Sabato / English translation by Catherine Frost