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Palazzo Vecchio

Palazzo Vecchio

Palazzo Vecchio is one of the symbols of Florence which has made it through centuries of battles and rebirths, brought it through the hands of gentlemen and merchants. Its impressive figure gives the piazza a strange but beautiful perspective.

Arnolfo di Cambio was commissioned for the construction by the Guild Priors, who called it 'Palagio Novo'. In the fifteenth-century it was the seat of the Signoria until the Medici family moved to Palazzo Pitti: then, to distinguish it from the Grand Duke's residence, it was named Palazzo Vecchio.

It is one of the masterpieces of fourteenth century architecture. The façade, covered with rustic stone, is divided into three levels divided by cornices on which rest the beautiful mullioned windows whose arches are covered and underlined with the same stone.

The small balcony, sustained by small arched supports underneath, opens out through an arched window, providing great architectural effect. Between these supports are the different family crests and shields of the ancients. A second patrol balcony is on the top floor and is protected by Ghuelf battlements.

The main entrance is near the Loggia dei Lanzi and is flanked by two marble statues from the sixteenth century by Baccio Bandinelli and Vincenzo de' Rossi. Corresponding with the main entrance, moved to the right, rises the powerful tower built in 1310.

Constructed on the previous Torre de' Foraboschi, it reaches 94 meters. On this tower is the still perfectly functioning tower clock. Also very enchanting are the Rocca and la Cella Campanaria. In the XIV and XVI centuries, the Palazzo was under construction and renovation gave it its actual configuration. The main entrance opens up to the first courtyard, which has at its center a small fountain with the 'Cupid and the Dolphin' by Andrea del Verrocchio. The decorations in the courtyard were done in 1565 for the wedding of Ferdinand I and Joan of Austria.

From the first courtyard, we continue into the Cortile della Dogana, or the Customs courtyard designed by Buontalenti and dall'Ammannati. Between the two courtyards, on the right and the left are the ramps that give access to the upper levels. On the first floor we enter immediately the Salone dei Cinquecento, designed by Antonio da Sangallo and Francesco di Domenico and frescoed by Michelangelo and Leonardo. On the left is the Office of Francesco I, which leads to the Tesoretto. On the opposite side is the entrance to the Quarters of Leon X which follow the stupendous chambers dedicated to Lorenzo the Magnificent, Cosimo I and other members of the Medici family and the priceless Sala de' Dugento. From the Leon X salon there is access to the second floor where we find the enchanting Quarters of the Elements and the Quarters of Eleonora.

Palazzo Vecchio, in its long history, has adapted to the times and functions in which it has found itself. Today it is not just a great museum, but it also houses various offices of the City and is often the seat of important conferences.

Tickets: 5,70 ¤

Opening hours:
9:00 am - 7:00 pm
Thursdays 9:00 am - 2:00 pm

Ph: +39 055 2768325

Web site:

Piazza della Signoria 1, 50122 Florence (FI)
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