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.
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 summaries and links to the tours.
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.
Florence - discover some 'secrets' of the Palazzo Vecchio
An interestingly different tour, this one ... step back in time and admire some of the most recently restored (and previously closed to the public) rooms and passages of Florence's splendid town hall (Palazzo Vecchio).
A tour that concentrates on the building's artistic heritage, a place where architecture, minor arts, sculpture, and painting all come together in a micro-cosmos, a place where art and history have been inextricably intertwined for more than seven centuries.
The tour (available in English, Italian and French) last roughly an hour, with an expert tour guide accompanying you to explore and explain a series of splendid works of art ... the marble group of The Genius of Victory by Michelangelo, the bronze group of Judith and Olopherne by Donatello, the Putto with dolphin by Verrocchio, the frescoes of Agnolo Bronzino in the Chapel of Eleonora, the Siege of Siena at the Porta Camollia by Giorgio Vasari, and the Triumph of Camillus by Francesco Salviati.
Florence - the Palazzo Vecchio, a tour of the building and a chance to go back in time and 'talk' to some famous residents from history!
Take the tour of the Quartieri Monumentali (above) and add on a 'Q and A' encounter with a period-costume resident from times-gone-by!
Florence - the Palazzo Vecchio, a tour of the frescoes and a hands-on lesson in creating your own fresco.
Very much a hands-on tour, this one. Design, execute and colour your very own fresco with the assistance of an experienced teacher, and then go on, armed with your new insights, to explore the magnificent frescoes of the Palazzo Vecchio
Undoubtedly one of the most photographed buildings in Florence, the Palazzo Vecchio sits in the very centre of the city, looking out onto Piazza dell Signoria and down onto the replica of Michelangelo's David.
Single ticket that covers entrance to the Palazzo Vecchio and the Uffizi, but with a difference - you'll enter the Uffizi Gallery by means of the aerial corridor that joins the two buildings, once part of the secret walkway that the Medici used to move from the Palazzo Pitti, over the river Arno, to the Palazzo Vecchio and the Uffizi, without ever having to mix with the common folk below!
Follow the path of Robert Langdon from Dan Brown's novel Inferno through some of the most striking buildings in Florence:
- discover the 'Cerca Trova' (seek and you shall find) message and Dante's death mask.
- view Dante's house and the Baptistery.
- Includes a 24 hour ticket to get into the Duomo, climb Giotto's tower and visit the Opera del Duomo museum
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