The Piazza, the emblem of Florentine political power also ideally represents the happiest years of Machiavelli’s existence. They are the years in which the writer served his homeland as a secretary and second chancellor of the republican government, after the fall of the Medici (1498-1512). Piazza della Signoria, strictly connected with the Palazzo Vecchio, where the Gonfaloniere at the time, Piero Soderini, lived – with the which the writer had a collaboration with – was considered the material and symbolic place not only for political live but also civic life, the opposite of Piazza del Duomo, located nearby.
To visit, in the course of your tour, you can see the beauty that faces the piazza, from the stage of the Loggia della Signoria (afterward called “dei Lanzi”) to the copy of Michelangelo’s David (the original you can see in the Galleria dell’Accademia from 1873). Inside the Palazzo Vecchio, you can’t miss one of the masterpieces of Donatello, the great bronze statue depicting Giuditta and Oloferne, in the Sala dei Gigli. In the Loggia dei Lanzi, you can find instead one of the masterpieces of Benvenuto Cellini, the Perseo, a bronze statue that you can find in Piazza Signoria from 1554. Perso, with the head of Medusa, represents the symbol of discord of which the republican regime was accused. The statue by Cellini was in fact connected with the Loggia dei Lanzi following the end of the Republic and the return of the Medici to power.
The journey of your visit in the places of Machiavelli then leads to the Museo del Bargello, which was at one time called the Palazzo del Capitano del Popolo, one of the most ancient public buildings of Florence. The museum houses, other than the works of Michelangelo (Il Bruto) and Donatello (il David), a marble bust attributed to Antonio del Pollaiolo that could actually resemble Machiavelli. Inside the building, you can also find an important collection of weapons from that era of war of the writer and politician, weapons with which Machiavelli guided the Florentine army against Pisa.