Palazzo Vecchio, Firenze

Palazzo Vecchio

One of the most characteristic buildings in Tuscany also home to evocative Salone dei Cinquecento

Designed by Arnolfo di Cambio (1245-1302), Florence's Palazzo Vecchio was built between the end of the 13th and beginning of the 14th century. It was originally used as the seat of the Priors. Successive additions in the 15th and 16th centuries increased the dimensions without modifying the impressive facade.
First used as the seat of the “Signoria” government, in 1540, it hosted the Grand Duke's family during Cosimo I de' Medici's rein, before their definitive move to Palazzo Pitti (at which time it took on the denomination “Palazzo Vecchio”). It was during this period that Vasari sumptuously designed the interior for its new government functions and the official quarters of the reining dynasty (the “Quartieri monumentali”).

The first entrance courtyard that, decorated with white and gold stucco and frescoed in the 16th century, owes its elegant structure to the 15th century. From here, visitors can reach the Sala d'Armi, where the City of Florence organizes frequent shows.

On the first floor, we find the grand Salone dei Cinquecento, designed by Cronaca (1495), used as a meeting room for the General Council according to the reforms carried out by Girolamo Savanarola. The walls, originally frescoed by Michelangelo and Leonardo, owe their current appearance to Vasari and his school from the second half of the 17th century. All of the statues constitute a rich symbolism with precise historical references which exhault the Medici. Michelangelo's Genio della Vittoria is also found in this room.

In contrast with the grandness of the salon, but equally sumptuous, is the small Studiolo di Francesco I, a small jewel of Mannerism, where the prince used to retire to meditate and contemplate his treasures (1570).
The visit continues across the rooms of the first floor, each dedicated to a person in the Medici family (Cosimo il Vecchio, Lorenzo, Leone X) with relative frescoes. On the second floor we find the Quartieri degli Elementi and the Quartiere di Eleonora da Toledo, Cosimo I's wife. The grand duchess' small chapel was decorated by Bronzino(1503-1572). Reception rooms and halls follow and in the last area we find the Loeser Collection, left to the City of Florence by American art critic Charles Loeser, who died in 1928. The collection includes 14th and 15th century Tuscan masterpieces, including pieces by Tino da Camaino, Berruguete, Rustici, Bronzino and Cellini.

Palazzo Vecchio
Piazza Signoria - Florence
Tel. 055/2768224
Entrance: € 6,00
Hours: Holidays 9 - 19; Weekdays 9 - 19; Thursday 9 – 14
An astonishing city of art, fashion and tradition
If you are visiting Tuscany you cannot miss Florence. The Renaissance city is a treasure trove of art with an astonishing contemporary vibe. Beyond the extraordinary artistic heritage, a testimony to its centuries of civilization, the best way to enjoy Florence is to stroll along the riverside avenues at sunset, or to get lost among the city’s myriad alleyways of the bohemian Oltrarno or the ...