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.

Opening hours:
from April to September: every day from 9:00 am to 11:00 pm, on Thursdays from 9:00 am to 2:00 pm.
October to March: daily from 9 am to 7 pm, Thursday from 9 am to 2 pm. Closed on certain holidays.

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.


Exterior view of the Palazzo Vecchio in 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.


Courtyard of the Old Palace


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 Hall of the Five Hundred in Palazzo Vecchio


The studiolo of Francis I of Medici

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.


A room in Palazzo Vecchio

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 ceiling of the courtroom of the Palazzo Vecchio


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 Hall of the Lilies in Palazzo Vecchio

The map room, painted between 1563 and 1584, is a testimony of the geographical knowledge of the time.


The map room of the Palazzo Vecchio


The monuments of Florence