The Palazzo Vecchio – What you need to know
The Palazzo Vecchio (Old Palace), or Palazzo dei Priori (Priors’ Palace), stands in Piazza della Signoria and is still the site of Florence’s City Hall. Attributed to the architect Arnolfo di Cambio, who also designed the “Duomo” (Cathedral) and the Church of Santa Croce, it was begun in 1299 and completed, after three different building periods, in the 16th century.
It was given the name “Vecchio” in 1565, when the de’ Medici family moved to their “new” residence in Pitti Palace. Visiting the museum located in its interior, you can view the magnificent rooms on which great masters such as Agnolo Bronzino, Ghirlandaio and Giorgio Vasari worked, and exhibits of works by Michelangelo Buonarotti, Donatello and Verrocchio. Palazzo Vecchio and Palazzo Pitti are still connected today by a passageway created by Vasari for Cosimo de’ Medici, called the Vasari Corridor, which passes through a part of the Uffizi Gallery and over the Arno along the Ponte Vecchio (Old Bridge). It gained new importance in 1865-71, when Florence became the capital of the United Italian kingdom.
The palace’s facade is its shortest side and its famous Arnolfo Tower has become one of the emblems of the city. From the 15th century it was decorated with sculptures, some of which have been substituted with copies, the most famous of which, Michelangelo’s David, was placed there in 1504, the year in which it was completed, and moved in 1873 to the Academy. A copy was then put in its place in 1910. Its interior houses one of the largest and most precious halls in Italy, the Salone dei Cinquecento.
The Palazzo Vecchio at a Glance
When to visit: Year-round
Opening hours: Opening hours: 1st October-31st March Mon/Tue/Wed/Fri/Sat/Sun 9-19 Thursday 9-14 1st April-30th September Mon/Tue/Wed/Fri/Sat/Sun 9-24 Thursday 9-14
Ticket Price: Museum+Archeological tour+Tower and Battlements Full Price Euro 18.00 / Reduced 18/25 Euro 16.00
Directions: Piazza della Signoria, Florence
Our Best Tips: The Ticket Office close one hour before museum closing time
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