One can be confused with different names this palace have; Palazzo Pazzi, Palazzo Congiura, Palazzo mai finito or The Palace of Coscpiracy.
Congiura family held important position in Renaissance Florence but it wasn't good enough, they wanted much more. They aim was to seize political and economic power from the Medici. In this palace the conspiracy against the Medici's was hatched and planned in 1478; Giuliani de Medici was killed while Lorenzo il magnifico managed to escape.
The palace was built by the architect Giuliano da Maiano, designed in the style of Brunelleschi.
PartyRambo's new Florence Page
Ah, Florence... what can I say, except I had a crush on her as a young boy watching "The Brady Bunch"... wait a minute - you don't mean Florence Henderson, do you?
THE SHORT VERSION:
Ah, Firenze... what can I say? Okay, movie buffs, the Palazzo Vecchio is featured in the movie "Hannibal" (sequel to "Silence of the Lambs"). I'm glad I saw the city before the movie, as I now know the history of the place, referred to in the movie. As it happens, parts of the movie script referred to things I'd already noted below - so get to your video rental store!
THE LONG VERSION:
Ah, Firenze... what can I say, except it's the most beautiful city I've seen on my travels. Fantastic renaissance architecture lines the streets, and the city has a feel about it that simply says ...
Despite the dirty, noisy rush of modern life, which destroys some of the flavour of the city, one can picture it a century ago and believe it's still quaint & lovely.
Artworks abound here - while very few pieces have the famous reputation as the Mona Lisa or Venus de Milo, my namesake can be found here - Michelangelo's David, perhaps the finest sculpted renaissance study of the human body to be found anywhere (but I'm afraid I can't live QUITE up to that level of perfection... see my Zurich Restaurants page for my take on McDonald's and a few extra pounds!)
The town of Florentia was founded in 59 BC following a decree by Julius Caesar regarding the settlement of army veterans - growth was rapid, as the Arno River provided access to a growing number of trading ships in the 2nd & 3rd centuries AD.
Conquered a couple of times, Florence rebounded by about 800 AD and by 1078 it had gained importance as a religious centre. In that year, the Countess Mathilda of Tuscia, one of the pope's closest allies in his struggles against emperor Henry IV, began construction of foritifcations in the city. Just before she died in 1115, she granted Flornce the status of an independent city. In 1125, the city crushed its arch-rival town of Fiesole, making it the dominant force in the region.
In 1348, the Black Death wiped out half the city's population (as it did half of Europe), and the 2nd half of the century was marked by civil strife and labour unrest from the wool & cloth industries.
Then came the Medicis - a powerful, welathy family made rich from the banking successes of Giovanni Bicci de'Medici. His son, Cosimo, became the city's patron of arts & politics, and under him, Florence thrived and became Italy's artistic centre. This continued to his son, Piero il Gottoso and his grandson, Lorenzo il Magnifico. The jealous Pazzi family, however, disliked the power held by the Medicis, and the resulting Pazzi Conspiracy resulted in the wounding of Lorenzo and death of his brother Giuliano, but served to strengthen the name of the Medici family in the city.
Unfortunately, the bank failed in the late-1400s, Lorenzo died in 1492, and his son Piero had to flee the city after the French invaded. For the next 45 years, power came back and forth, invasions & conquerings, Medici & non-Medici, until Alessandro de'Medici was assassinated in 1537 (good thing, too - not a nice guy) and power passed to another Cosimo Medici. While he ruled, Florence took custody of the rest of Tuscany, and in 1570 he took the title of Cosimo I as the first Grand-Duke of Tuscany. In 1737, the last male heir to the Medici empire died.
Another century of back-and-forth, then the united Italian State absorbed Florence in 1860, and in 1861 it became the capital of the Kingdom of Italy until 1875.
Further calamities and war - the retreating German army did a lot of damage, and a major flood in November 1966 caused damage to many works of art & buildings, some of which is still not repaired.
Tourism is now its major source of revenue & survival, although the new suburb development of Firenze Nuova has been underwritten by Fiat, in an attempt to break the dependence on foreign income.
I don't actually have very many 'good' photos, from a photographic point of view, but I'll offer some of my favourites.
This is a view along a narrow side street leading up & around the Forte di Belvedere (an old fortress).