The Fortress Da Basso – What you need to know
The Fortress Da Basso was built from 1534 – 1537 on the orders of Alessandro de’ Medici, by Pier Francesco da Viterbo and Antonio da Sangallo the Younger.
The pentagonal-shaped Fortezza di San Giovanni Battista (Fortress of St John the Baptist – it takes its name from the patron saint of the city) was built in a short space of time and using great means.
It was meant to be both a warning to the Florentines, with its bulk filled with mighty ramparts, turrets and patrol ways, and also to assure the governors of a refuge in case of revolt.
During the period in which Florence was capital of Italy, the moats were filled in and the walls buried.
A large part of these structures was never used and it remained military property until 1967. Since the restoration works, which have not yet been completed, it is possible to see some works, such as the 14th century Porta Faenza (Faenza Gate), the ancient course of the Mugnone, a stream that flowed through the city’s moats, the interior of the Mastio, a kind of mini bastion invented by Antonio da Sangallo, and the gunpowder magazine.
Now the Fortress Da Basso houses the most important exhibitions of Florence Expo and is the location of numerous conventions, meetings, concerts and national and international events.
The Fortress Da Basso at a Glance
When to visit: Year-round
Directions:Piazza Adua, 1 Firenze
Our Best Tips: The Fortress Da Basso is home to numerous conferences, concerts and national and international exhibitions
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