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Palazzo Vecchio: a much prettier name than ‘Old Palace'

monument museum

This veritable open-air museum is a palace whose 94-metre-tall tower has stood above the Piazza della Signoria for seven centuries. It was turned into the city hall in 1871.

Formerly named Palazzo della Signoria, it was renamed the ‘Old Palace' when the Medici left it for the Pitti Palace. Its tower, built by architect Arnolfo di Cambio, overlooks the Fountain of Neptune by Florentine sculptor Bartolomeo Ammannati, which was the first artwork displaying nudity in a public place. In its courtyard, transformed into a portico by Michelozzo, stands another fountain with a copy of a bronze statue by Verrocchio.

On the first floor, in the Salone dei Cinquecento, the frescoes and paintings by Vasari will bring tears to your eyes. Among the two rows of 16th-century statues is Michelangelo's The Genius of Victory. There's also the secret and allegorical office of Francesco I de Medici. On the second floor you will find the apartments of Cosimo I, decorated in mythological frescoes, and those of Eleonora of Toledo, home to a tiny chapel painted by Bronzino. It's all simply astonishing!

Palazzo Vecchio
Piazza della Signoria
50122 Firenze

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