The Palazzo Vecchio
Palazzo Vecchio is located in Piazza della Signoria. You can reach it from Piazza Duomo by walking down via dei Calzaiuoli.
Address: Piazza della Signoria.
Price : 12,50 €.
Built from 1299 to 1314 on the plans of Arnolfo di Cambio it was first the residence of the Priors under the name of Palazzo della Signoria and then named Palazzo Ducale under Cosimo I. When he occupied the Palazzo Pitti, it became the Palazzo Vecchio and today houses the City Council of Florence.
One enters through a delightful cortile (inner courtyard) decorated by Vasari with views of the cities over which the Austrian power extended, following the marriage of Francis of Medici to Joan of Austria. The central fountain is decorated with a copy of a putto holding a dolphin by Verrocchio.
This brings us to the Salon of the Five Hundred, whose ceiling and murals, in honor of the Medici, are also by Vasari. Among the sculptures along the wall, note the Victorious Genius by Michelangelo, originally intended for the tomb of Julius II in Rome.
The studiolo of Francis I, which has no windows, was intended to house the precious and rare objects of his private collection.
The second floor is occupied by offices and cannot be visited.
The staircase leads to the second floor, which includes the rooms and viewpoints of the Elements Quarter.
In the apartments of Eleanor of Toledo, the small chapel is sumptuously decorated by Bronzino. A series of rooms, always decorated with frescoes and paintings, leads to the Audience Hall with its superb coffered ceiling.
The Hall of the Lilies is decorated with trompe l'oeil frescoes by Domenico Ghirlandaio. Here you will find the original Judith and Holofernes by Donatello.
The map room, painted between 1563 and 1584, is a testimony of the geographical knowledge of the time.