Palazzo Vecchio, one of the most beautiful buildings in Florence, is situated in Piazza della Signoria. It is nowadays the Town Hall of Florence, but also a museum where one can visit the magnificent rooms in which were expressed great artists like Agnolo Bronzino, Ghirlandaio or George Vasari. There are works by Michelangelo Buonarroti, Donatello, Verrocchio, etc. In particular, the Salone dei Cinquencento (Sale of the Five Hundred) is adorned by the victorious genius of Michelangelo and the frescoes of Vasari.
This elegant and crenelated parallelepipedal fortress, inaugurated in 1322, is a good synthesis of the architecture of the 14th century. The beautiful Arnolfo Tower, dominating the main façade, is one of the emblems of the city. The building has gradually been enlarged eastward, extending over an island, and multiplying its dimensions by four.
The palace is next to the Uffizi Gallery. Opposite, on the Piazza della Signoria square, a replica of Michelangelo’s David is in front of the entrance to the Palace, as well as Hercules and Cacus by Baccio Bandinelli.
Schedule from October to March :
Museum and archaeological route: every day except Thursday from 9 am to 7 pm / Thursdays from 9 am to 2 pm.
Tour: every day except Thursday from 10 am to 5 pm / Thursdays from 10 am to 2 pm.
Schedule from April to September :
Museum and archaeological route: every day except Thursday from 9 am to 11 pm / Thursdays from 9 am to 2 pm.
Tour: every day except Thursday from 9am to 9pm / Thursdays from 9am to 2pm.
Museum: Full 10 €, reduced 8 €, reservation 3 €
Tour and course prices: http://museicivicifiorentini.comune.fi.it/palazzovecchio/informazioni.html
History of the palace and its construction
In history he bore other names. Its first name was Palazzo della Signoria (Palace of the Seigniory), for there sat the Signoria – the government of the commune.
It was by the following designated as Palazzo Ducale (Palace of the Dukes), until the Medici who sat there moved to the Pitti Palace.
The construction of the palace began in 1299 under the direction of the architect Arnolfo di Cambio, during troubled times when Florence wanted to assert its strength and guarantee its security.
A first completion dates back to 1314. The building was built on the ruins of two ancient palaces, and di Cambio integrated the tower of the Vacca family and the one of Bizzo into the structure.
This is probably why the tower of Arnolfo (named after its architect and about 94 meters high) is not in the middle of the building. This crenellated tower, in a Tuscan style, served as a prison: Cosimo I and Jerome Savonarola stayed there in the 15th century.
The origin of the clock construction is from Donatello. But it was replaced in the seventeenth century.
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