"The Palazzo Vecchio (Old Palace) is the town hall of Florence. This massive, Gothic, crenellated fortress-palace is among the most impressive town halls of Tuscany. Overlooking the Piazza della Signoria with its copy of Michelangelo's David statue as well the gallery of statues in the adjacent Loggia dei Lanzi, it is one of the most significant public places in Italy.
Originally called the Palazzo della Signoria, after the Signoria of Florence, the ruling body of the Republic of Florence, it was also given several other names: Palazzo del Popolo, Palazzo dei Priori, and Palazzo Ducale, in accordance with the varying use of the palace during its long history. The building acquired its current name when the Medici duke's residence was moved across the Arno to the Palazzo Pitti.
Above the front entrance door, there is a notable ornamental marble frontispiece, dating from 1528. In the middle, flanked by two gilded lions, is the Monogram of Christ, surrounded by a glory, above the text (in Latin): "Rex Regum et Dominus Dominantium" (translation: "Jesus Christ, King of Kings and Lord of Lords". This text dates from 1851 and does not replace an earlier text by Savonarola as mentioned in guidebooks. Between 1529 and 1851 they were concealed behind a large shield with the grand-ducal coat of arms.
Michelangelo's David also stood at the entrance from its completion in 1504 to 1873, when it was moved to the Accademia. A replica erected in 1910 now stands in its place, flanked by Baccio Bandinelli's Hercules and Cacus." [Taken from Wikipedia]
There are also three main courtyards that contain many other statues and pieces of magnificent, historical artwork.
Tour the facilities during the hours of operation.
You will notice this while in the Piazza della Signoria (Plaza of the Lady). Although your eyes will be wandering to the stature of David and Medusa as well as the other marvelous buildings surrounding the plaza.
And not rag tag shops. Rather, diamond jewelry shops folks! the italians really think in a novel and liberating way. Walking on the bridge is a profound experience, since it is packed with people, and rising with vendors in their everyday bussiness. The architecture itself is from a time past, when italian merchants made business deals, rather than tourist pandering and tourist trapping. lol
See the Ponte Vecchio at sunset, from the other bridges, from the hill, during the day. It is beautiful in combination with the charm of florence in general. Enjoy it! Its special
I don't know if Palazzo Vecchio actuall qualifies as a castle but it kind of looks like one. During Easter they often have parades that lead right to Palazzo Vecchio. This is definitely one of the most unique looking buildings in Florence and its hard to beat its location, wedged right in between the Duomo on one side and the Uffizi and Ponte Vecchio roughly on the other.
Fortress-palace overlooka the Piazza della Signoria with its copy of Michelangelo's David statue as well the gallery of statues.
The building acquired its current name when the Medici duke's residence was moved across the Arno to the former Palazzo Pitti.
Now it's a museum where you stroll halls and galleries of rich history
Located in the busy Piazza della Signoria, the Palazzo Vecchio, Florence's town hall, was started in the 14th century. The building was remodelled and redecorated two centuries later when the Medicis added open-air sculpture galleries and several beautiful fountains.
Among the more interesting rooms are the Salone dei Cinquento, a huge assembly hall, the Sala d'Udienza, once the audience chamber of the republic, with a gilded ceiling by da Maiano, and the Sala dei Gigli, containing Donatello's restored Judith and Holofernes.
The Palazzo Vecchio was constructed between 1298 and 1314 by Arnolfo di Cambio, one of Florence's more famous architects (he started the Duomo and worked on Basilica di Santa Croce). The Palazzo Vecchio was the traditional seat of governance for the priori of Florence and its Torre d'Arnolfo, at 94 metres tall, is another of Florence's eternal symbols. Cosimo I de' Medici had bought the palace and renovated the interior in the early 16th century, but his wife greatly objected and the Medicis did not move in until 1549, after the death of Eleonora de Toledo, Cosimo I's wife. Visitors can enter and tour the grounds of the house, including the various rooms that belonged to Eleonora, Leo X (the Medici Pope) and Cosimo I. There is a bit of an extra treat as well for those who are willing to pay for a guided tour. These tours will take you through the percorsi segreti, or the secret passageways of the Palazzo Vecchio. The Palazzo Vecchio also has a Children's Museum for those families visiting the monument.
The 'Palazzo Vecchio' was constructed in 1294 following the plans of Arnolfo di Cambio and later expanded by Buontalenti and Vasari.
It was designed as a Fortress-Palace and first served as the seat of the town council. In 1540 the Medici family moved to this palace but after ten years moved to the 'Palazzo Pitti'. Then they called this Palace the old Palace.
You can find here a nice courtyard, the 'Salone Cinquecento' (the first floor), The 'Cappela della Signoria' (second floor) and the 'Sala dell’Udienza' (second floor) among other rooms full of works of art.
The palace is surmounted by a 94m-high bell tower.
Hours: Fri-Wed 9:00am-7:00pm, Thu 9:00am-2:00pm
For centuries this building was the political heart of Florence. It was founded in 1299 as headquarter of Priori delle Arti.The facade, so austere and smart dates back to that period, with its characteristic battlemented tower based on the facade. In XVth century it was seat of Signoria (that gave this name to the building), in 1540, during he period of Cosimo I of Medici it was the house of the gran-ducal family. Vasari changed it in luxurious palace with the beauty of the Salone dei Cinquecento, the precious cabinet of Francesco I and with frescos of Eleonora's room and Elements' room.
The first pic and the last 2 were taken in the "Salone of 500" that is the biggest and the most important of Old Palace. Its measures:lenghts, 54 metres;width,23; height, 18 metres. It was built in 1494 by Simone del Pollaiolo, aka the Cronaca, on commission of Girolamo Savonarola. The monk from Ferrara in that period was the Prince of Florence, and created a Commitee of 500 or Maggior Consiglio, formed by 500 citizens, in order to spread the decisional power among citizens (so wasn't easy for only one holding the power). The Hall has a lacunar ceiling (see pic) and is very spartan, without any decorations. With Cosimo I, the Hall wasn't thought as the place where the power of Republic is celebrated but as the place where the duke welcomed ambassadors and citizens. Vasari made the Hall shorter and higher of about 7 metres.
On walls there are 6 scenes of Cosimo's triumphs above Pisa and Siena and also six statues representing "The labours of Hercules" (see first pic). On the wall at south there is the famous"Il genio della Vittoria" (1533-1534) that Michelangelo did for the grave of pope Giulio II.
Now Florence's town hall, it was initially built almost 700 years ago for the Signoria, the ruling body in Florence at that time. It took a period of roughly 300 years, in three stages, to become the palace you see today.
There are two towers which at one time were used as a holding cell for Cosimo the Elder and Girolamo Savonarola (not at the same time!).
Savonarola was a priest and leader of Florence for 4 years in the late 1400s. He was the author of the original "Bonfire of the Vanities" where he gathered items from the populace that he felt were sinful - cosmetics, irreplaceable artwork, books, sculptures, gaming tables, and the like - and burned them in the center of the Piazza. Ironically he himself was executed (burned in a bonfire) in the same spot a year later... (he ticked off the wrong people for long enough...)
Overlooking the Piazza della Signoria, and next to the Uffizi Gallery, sit the Palazzo Vecchio, or the old palace. Along the top of the building's outter walls, you can see a variety of family coats of arms. The Palazza was buily in 1322 and to this day is still used as the city's Town Hall.
Well i think you can't miss Palazzo Vecchio and Piazza della Signoria when you come in Florence.I suggest you to arrive from Via dei Calzaioli,'couse the street is not so big and when u'll arrive in the square and se palazzo vecchio,you'll remain breathless.There are statues in the square like Neptunes(we call it"il biancone"),and there is a plaque on the floor of the square.In the point of the plaque was burned Fra Girolamo Savonarola during ancient period
Another landmark of Florence. This fotress-like town hall is typical of the city states of medieval Italy where politcial and commercial strives and competition and wealthy families fought for influence and power.
Palazzo dei Priori is also known as Palazzo Vecchio or Palazzo della Signoria is a parallelipiped-shaped palace, with the top end looking like the crenellated top of a defense tower or wall, and the very nice 94 meters high bell tower. Currently the Palazzo Vecchio is first a great museum but also it still houses (since 1872) the office of the mayor and is the seat of the City Council. The building history of the most important building in Florence takes place during three centuries (13th-16th), starting with the end of the 12th century when Florence decided to build a palace and comissioned Arnolfo di Cambrio to do so. The present palace resulted from three succesive building stages as various architects modifying the exterior and also the interior.
Inside the palace presents itself first with the three courtyards, first one my favourite (check out my second picture), designed in 1453 by Michelozzo. Paying the entrance ticket the visitor will discover a series of rooms, offices and hallways, with impressive painted ceilings and wall frescos.
this famous landmark was the political center of the florentines. built in 1322 it is florence's town hall and once home to cosimo I. cosimo remodelled the interior of the palazzo in 1540. some works of art in the palazzo are the "sala dei gigli", verrochio's "putto with dolphin", bronzino's "cappella di eleonora", and michelangelo's "victory". for more information check out my florence page. open daily.
strolling around florence while enjoying your gelatto you won`t miss this building with its tower.
the palace is situated within the the piazza della signoria. facing on the right side, look up then you`ll notice a bridge connecting the palazzo and the uffizi. this was used exclusively by the medicis before as their special passageway from their home to their place of work.