Located in the heart of the city of Florence, next to the Loggia dei Lanzi in Piazza della Signoria, Palazzo Vecchio, also known as the Old Palace, is a core element and symbol of the city. Before becoming known as Palazzo Vecchio, the palace was named “Palazzo della Signoria” and is often still referred to by its old name. Visiting this palace is a great way to fully immerse yourself in the beauty and history of the city of Florence.
Let’s find out something more about Palazzo Vecchio in Florence and why you should add it to your itinerary!
HISTORY OF PALAZZO VECCHIO
Palazzo Vecchio was built in 1299 as the Florentines needed a building that would symbolize the strength and power of the city of Florence. Built under the design of architect Arnolfo di Cambio, who had also designed the Church of Santa Croce and the Dome of Florence, this palace used to be the seat of the Republic’s organizations and people.
ARCHITECTURE AND CONSTRUCTION
As previously mentioned, Palazzo Vecchio was designed by architect Arnolfo di Cambio who built it on the ruins of Palazzo dell’Esecutore della Giustizia and Palazzo dei Fanti. The building presents itself as quite simple, as it’s built in the shape of a big cube with two rows of windows and many embrasures which would protect it from invaders. The building seems to be built in Gothic style, even though it doesn’t have as many features as other Gothic buildings. The building is also decorated with bas reliefs made by Michelozzo di Bartolomeo Michelozzi.
A very interesting aspect of Palazzo Vecchio is its tower, also known as Torre d’Arnolfo, which doesn’t stand at the center of the palace. The reason for this is actually quite simple: Arnolfo di Cambio repurposed another tower to build the one in Palazzo Vecchio, the Foraboschi Tower.
VISITING PALAZZO VECCHIO TODAY
What used to be one of the most important elements of the city of Florence, symbolizing its strength and importance, is nowadays a Museum that you can visit. If you’re thinking of visiting it, which we highly suggest you do, here are some useful info about the opening times:
The Museum is open on Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from 09:00 AM to 07:00 PM and on Thursdays from 09:00 AM to 02:00 PM. The Tower is open on Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 09:00 AM to 05:00 PM and on Thursdays from 09:00 AM to 02:00 PM.
We strongly recommend you book your tickets in advance and check out for the opening times as they may vary throughout the years because of the Holidays or restoration work.
Visiting Palazzo Vecchio is definitely a must if you want to get to know more about the historical beauty of the city of Florence. As previously mentioned, we suggest you book your tour with us in advance for the best experience possible!