You'll return home from Florence with enough photographs to fill several hard drives, and it's a pretty safe bet to assume that amongst them will be assorted shots of Florence's old town hall, the Palazzo Vecchio.
The Palazzo Vecchio sits in the heart of Florence, looking out onto Piazza Signoria with its copy of Michelangelo's David, as well as a gallery of statues in the adjacent Loggia dei Lanzi. As Town Halls go, it's pretty impressive, with it crenellated, fortress-like appearance. However, unlike, say, the Uffizi or the cathedral (Duomo), it tends to go unexplored. Photographed, yes ... entered, no. And that's a shame.
The Palazzo Vecchio is, rather mundanely, given its appearance, the Town Hall of Florence, but this is no shabby municipal eyesore, rather a magnificent stone palace, started in 1299 and the work of Arnolfo di Cambio, the architect of the Duomo and Santa Croce church.
Built for defence, the foursquare, solid edifice is enhanced by its simple clocktower; until 1873 the entrance of the Palazzo Vecchio was rendered exceptionally notable for being home to (the original) Davide by Michelangelo. The sculpture was moved to the Accademia and the statue of David that now graces the Palazzo Vecchio is a replica, erected in 1910.
To remedy this then, our assorted tours of the Palazzo Vecchio, varied and interesting ways to get to know more of this fine building, its history and its treasure trove of art. See below for links to further detail on the tours, and use the calendar above to check availability.
The tours are not suitable for children under the age of 8, nor are they suitable for those in wheelchairs (although the building itself does have wheelchair access). You will need to arrive at the Palazzo Vecchio at least 15 minutes before the tour is due to start, but we'd recommend arriving as early as possible as all visitors are required to pass through a metal detector, and this inevitably takes some time.
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