florence palais vecchio

Palazzo Vecchio

Florence is one of the most visited cities in Italy and not for nothing. The city is beautiful and houses relics, statues and works of art that are very important to the European country. This castle-like building

What is the Palazzo Vecchio?

The Palazzo Vecchio (ancient palace) is a palace in Florence, which has over 7 centuries of history. It is located in the capital of Tuscany and is currently the seat of the city’s municipal government.

Inside the palace there is a beautiful museum, the magnificent and famous Salone dei Cinquecento, a hall that still preserves its original state, where special events of the city of Florence take place.

In addition, Palazzo Vecchio houses an archaeological site and the ruins of the Roman theatre. Visitors to Florence cannot miss seeing the palace from the outside, the inside and the underground area.

History of Palazzo Vecchio

The construction of Palazzo Vecchio began in 1299. The Florentines decided to build the building as the seat of government. Arnolfo di Cambio was the architect responsible for starting the work. The same architect who designed Florence’s Duomo, the city’s beautiful and majestic cathedral.

From the start of construction, the main section of the Palazzo Vecchio was intended to house the Town Hall, which was made up of the principal members of the guilds of Florence (the Priori), who ran the Republic of Florence. The construction of the palace – almost a fortress – took place until 1314 and, in the course of its history, it bore several names: Pallazo della Signoria was the first. Later it was renamed Palazzo dei Priori (Palace of the Priors) and Palazzo Ducale (Ducal Palace).

The name Palazzo Vecchio was not chosen until 1565, when the court of Grand Duke Cosimo I moved to Palazzo Pitti. The shape of the castle and the 94 metre high tower are considered one of the most important symbols of Florence.

Right at the entrance you can see two large statues: Michelangelo’s David (a copy of the statue, since the original is in the Galleria dell’Accademia in Florence), which stood in the square until 1873, and another Hercules and Caco by Bacio Bandinelli, which represents Hercules’ victory over Caco’s evilness.

The palazzo’s museum features works by Agnolo Bronzino, Michelangelo Buonarroti and Giorgio Vasari and is well worth a visit if you have time in town. Inside Palazzo Vecchio you can see the rooms that members of the Medici family used when they ruled, including a private chapel of Eleonora, and the Salone dei Cinquecento, a room that houses grand works, such as Michelangelo’s Genio della Vittoria. The hall’s 21-metre-high ceiling is decorated with 38 panels featuring allegories and scenes from the history of Florence. The palace is full of artworks, rooms and secret passages.

In addition, you can also climb the 233 steps of the Arnolfo Tower and enjoy a beautiful view of the city from the top.

How to get to Palazzo Vecchio

Opening hours

October to March: Every day except Thursday: 9 am to 7 pm Thursday: 9 am to 2 pm

April to September: Every day except Thursday: 9am to 11pm Thursday: 9am to 2pm

Tickets are split between the museum entrance, the visit to the tower, the Roman ruins or the museum and the tower. On rainy days, the tower is closed to the public. Climbing the tower is not recommended for people with walking difficulties, heart problems, asthma or vertigo.

Tickets can be purchased directly from the Palazzo Vecchio website. Tickets for the museum or the tower cost €10 (€8 for the reduced ticket); and for both (museum and tower) cost €14 (€12 for the reduced ticket).

The Palazzo Vecchio is located in Piazza della Signoria (Signoria Square) in Florence.

The Palace is located in a very central area of Florence, close to the Galleria degli Uffizi (180 metres), the Ponte Vecchio (280 metres) and the Duomo of Florence (800 metres).

Piazza della Signoria, 50122 Firenze FI, Italy.