A Town-Hall Fortress in Florence


Member Rating 3 out of 5 by airynfaerie on October 19, 2009

Towering over the Piazza Signoria is the stunning Palazzo Vecchio ("Old Palace"). The demanding structure has been part of the Renaissance city since 1299 and the iconic tower has been a piece of the city's skyline for centuries. Visitors can't miss this castle-like building as it sits amongst all of the center's main sites.

Originally built as a home to some of the Florentine government heads, this building is still used as for government, but now as the town hall. Housing plenty of pieces of art, as well as being heavy in historical significance, this palace is still studied by specialists around the world. Just to admire the palazzo from the outside plaza, where several sculptural masterpieces exist, is a worthwhile experience, but to go inside the museum allows an even closer look into Florence's history.

Admire the copy of Michelangelo's David (original in the Accademia Museum) just outside the doors of the palace's courtyard entrance, as well as Bandinelli's Hercules and Cacus. If you're not wanting to pay the entrance fee, at least take a step into the first open air courtyard and check out the interesting fountain and detailed wall decorations with beautiful arches around the edges.

Further inside, one can see 2 more courtyards as well as frescos from Vasari and Ghirlandaio. The most famous room being the Salone dei Cinquecento, which is a large hall with historic and massive story-telling frescos. Continue the tour up through the higher floors to several themed rooms and living quarters containing priceless pieces of art like the "Genius of Victory" sculpture by Michelangelo and "Judith and Holofernes" bronze piece by Donatello.

In the past few years archeologists have been researching and studying a part of the Palazzo Vecchio, where they believe a lost fresco of Leonardo da Vinci may be. Using high-tech x-ray type machinery they've been trying to see behind a wall to see if the "Battle of Anghiari" may reside there. Only known by Leonardo sketches, researchers have been trying to find the finished pieces for centuries. So step inside this old palace and enjoy being part of history!

• Piazza della Signoria
• Open 9am - 7pm (Fri - Wed), 9am- 2pm (Thurs)
• Admission 6euros
Palazzo Vecchio
Piazza Della Signoria
Florence, Italy, 50122
+39 0552768325

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