The building was designed in 1299 but later added to over the 14th and 15th centuries. The ‘old palace’ was converted into a the residence for the Dukes of Florence in 1540. There are three courtyards to the ‘old palace’ with beautiful columns and fountains adorning them. Today it is the home of the City Council who use many of the palace but the public can still view the many exhibits inside including the Elenora di Toledo and Room of the Lilies. There is a corridor which connects it to the Pitti Palace.
The palace is open Mon-Wed and Fri-Sat 9.00am-7.00pm. On Thursday and Sunday it is open 9.00am – 2.00pm. Check on holidays as on some, they close.
Palazzo Vecchio was started in 1299 to serve as the town hall. It was then taken over by the Medici, before they moved on to the Pitti Palace. The outside is impressive, but the inside is not worth the time, unless you are in Florence for an extended stay. However, the inner courtyard just inside the doorway is free and worth a pop in stop.
This is the most important civil building in the city of Florence.
We had two guided tours in Palazzo Vecchio, both of them I would say very interesting.
One it was general and covered general stories about the Palazzo, Florence history and art.
The other one was called Percorsi Segreti and covered places within the Palazzo that until today were inaccessible. Plenty of good fun stories about Cosimo I de' Medici, his son, his wife, stories about Florence, Siena, Pisa.
This Palazzo is also called Piazza della Signora. Great statues line the Piazza. This is where Michelangelo's David originally stood (it is now in the Accademia).
Check out Il Biancone (Neptune) where the Florentines like to meet. Also see the Rape of the Sabines by Giambologna. Inside the Palazzo outstanding highlights are the Salone dei Cinquecento, the precious Study of Francesco I, the fine frescoes in Eleonora’s Apartments and the Rooms of the Elements.
The frescoes were made by artists such as Vasari, Ghirlandaio, Francesco Salviati and Bronzino.
In the Palazzo we also find some sculptural masterpieces from the Renaissance, including the Genius of Victory by Michelangelo and the bronze Judith and Holofernes by Donatello.
The interior of the Palazzo Vecchio contains sumptuous paintings, frescoes and furniture. Some rooms still have their original tiled floors. It can take a while to get inside as there is strict security to pass through at the entrance so bear this in mind.
The "Old Palace" still fulfils its original role as town hall. It was completed in 1322 when a huge bell, used to call citizens to meetings or warn of fire, flood or enemy attack, was hauled to the top of the imposing bell tower. While retaining much of its medieval appearance, the interior was remodelled for Duke Cosimo I in 1540. The Republican frieze over the palace entrance is inscribed with the words, "Christ is King", implying that no mortal ruler has absolute power.
Open: 9am-7pm daily (to 2pm Thu).
Palazzo Vecchio, as it appears today, is the result of at least three successive building stages between the 13th-16th centuries: the last reconstruction was carried out by Vasari, after the coming to power of Cosimo I de' Medici, who moved into the palace with all his family.
Palazzo Vecchio's exclusive role as the political representative of the city gradually lost importance from 1565 for three centuries, being partly replaced by the Uffizi and the new Palace at Pitti. It was to return to its original function as the seat of the City Council in 1872.
Although the palace today contains the offices of the City Council, much of it can still be visited: Hall of the Five Hundred, the little Study of Francesco I and the four monumental apartments: the Quarters of the Elements, the Quarters of Eleonora of Toledo, the Residence of the Priors and the Quarters of Leo X, where the reception rooms of the mayor and the council that governs the city are situated today. The Hall of the Two Hundred is once more being used for the meetings of the City Council and therefore not always open to the public.
The grand staircase by Vasari leads to the Salone dei Cinquecento which contains, among other sculptures, the marble Victory by Michelangelo. Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo were originally commissioned to provide fresco decorations for the Salone. On the same floor of the Palazzo is the Studiolo of Francesco I Medici by Vasari, which contains works by Giambologna, Ammannati and other Florentine artists of the late sixteenth century. On the second floor are to be found the Sala dei Gigli, which takes its name from the lilies, symbol of Florence, which decorate its walls and ceiling; the Sala dell'Udienza, built by Benedetto da Maiano; the Cappella della Signoria, with frescoes by Ghirlandaio; the Quartiere di Eleonora di Toledo, built by Vasari; and the Cappella di Eleonora, decorated by Bronzino.
When in Florence don't forget to go inside the Palazzo Vechio. There you can see the power and artistic mastery of the city in its rooms ornately decorated with paintings and statutes.
This is a picture of the main meeting hall.
Not all rooms are open to the public. The mayor's office is inside and he doesn't want to be disturbed by camera clicking tourists I guess.
In Florence there are so many things to see that its overwhelming. I went to the Palazzo Vecchio with few of my friends on a rainy day. We were so lucky that inside the palace there was a choir concert going on and listening to those beautiful voices in that big hall is quite amazing. We walked on and its incredible! All this beauty and history.
This house used to house the Signoria which was the kinda the parliament of Tuscany and Florence back in the days. Multo interessant, eh?
Dont miss out on this!
Begun in 1299, this fortress of a town hall became known as the 'vecchio' palace when the Medici entourage upped and moved sticks to the Pitti palace, after a mere nine years in residence.
It was built as the seat of the Signoria, the fathers of the city´s republican government, and incorporated the ancient tower into its construction. The various salons and chambers of the interior are largely decorated with tributes and eulogies to Cosimo I and his family.
Building of Palazzo Vecchio started in 1294. It was intended as a palace-fortress for the residence of the Priors.
The tower was completed in 1310, stands about 300 ft. high. Under the arches at the top of the building are frescoes with the coats of arms of the nine city communes.
The mechanism of the clock dates from 1667.
Also called Palazzo Vecchio, because after this one, there were other palaces who replaced it, as Uffici or Pitti. It returned to its original function as the seat of the City Council in 1872, but much of it can still be visited.
It had different constructive stages, but the actual one belongs to the time of Arnolfo da Cambio, also responsible of Santa Croce and the cathedral. The tower is the highest in the city.
This chamber located in the Palazzo Vecchio was built in the late 1400's as a meeting place for the 500 member people's council. Under the rule of Cosimo I, Varsari created frescos of battle scenes celebrating Florentine victories over Tuscan rivals.
Building of the Palazzo Vecchio or "Old Palace" began in 1299. In the past it was the as a meeting hall for the seven guilds that once governed Florence and as home to the Medici ruling family. Today it functions as Florence's city hall and as a museum.
Formally known as Palazzo Pubblico, Palazzo della Signoria, etc, the Palazzo Vecchio with a high tower of 94 meters has a simple front facing the Piazza della Signoria. However the courtyard and the interior are both absolutely beautiful. Inside you find an art collection with work from several European drawers from the 15th to the 18th century. And the beautiful Piazza della Signoria wouldn’t be the most important place in Florence without the presence of this great Palazzo in the middle.