Palazzo Vecchio - Florence

The Palazzo Vecchio or Palazzo della Signoria towers majestically above the square of the same name.Probably conceived by Arnolfo di Cambio around 1299, the edifice is a real stronghold. It is massive cube topped by a 94 high crenelled tower. It was refurbished in the XIVth century. In 1540, Cosimo I de Medici ordered the enlargement and the adaptation to its new residential function for the Greats Dukes of Tuscany. The palace's outbuilding was renovated by Vasari between 1550 and 1565. When Cosimo transferred his belongings and his family to the Palazzo Pitti, the palace of the Piazza della Signoria took the name of Palazzo Vecchio. The court, the structure of which was made in the Quattrocento, was decorated by Vasari and was made out of white golden stucco. The Salone dei Cinquecento (Hall of Five Hundreds), on the first floor, is a remarkable room built in 1595 to accomodate the members of the Consiglio Generale du Polo. The frescos by Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo were replaced by Vasari's somptuous decoration, based on an intricate allegorical programme linked to the Medicis. You can also find there the Genius of Victory sculpted by Michelangelo for Julius II's tomb. The Studiolo of Francis I de Medicis, next to the hall, is an exquisite small mannerist-style where the Prince kept artistic or simply curious objects. On the second floor is the Quartiere degli Elementi (Appartment of the Elements), also decorated by Vasari and the Quartiere d' Eleonora de Toledo (Appartment of Eleonora of Toledo), spouse of Cosimo, where you can find a chapel decorated by Bronzino. The layout of the Quartiere dei Priori delle Arti (Appartments of the Prayers of the Arts) comprises the Salla di Rappresentanza, Salla dellÂ’Udienza and the Salla dei Gigli made in the XVth century. You can also admire there the sculpture of Judith and Holofernes by Donatello which was first located in the Palazzo Medici-Riccardi's court.

Address : Florence Italy

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