Palazzo Vecchio

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Palazzo Vecchio
History of Florence
Florence arose as a colony of the Etrurian town Fiesole in
around 200 a.C around, and subsequently it became the
Roman Florentia. Beginning from the IV century, the city
passed through periods of Byzantine domination,
Ostrogoth, Lombard and Frank.
Around the X century, the town began its development, up to
becoming itself an autonomous district in 1115.
In the XII and XIII century, there were a series of political
struggles, the fight between the Guelfis and the
Ghibellinis. The Guelfis, sided with the Pope, whereas the
Ghibellinis were on the German Emperor’s side.
At the end of XIV century, the Medici family consolideted
their power as bankers linked to the Pope.
In 1434 Cosimo de’ Medici took power and became the patron
of artist such as Donatello, Brunelleschi,Fra Angelico and
Fra Filippo Lippi.
The red lily is the
symbol of
de’ Medici
The most famous representative of the Medici family,
however, was probably Lorenzo, Cosimo’ s grandson.
At Lorenzo’s court arts, music and poetry were
magnificently developed; he was the patron of artists
as Botticelli, Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo.
Thanks to him Florence achieved a certain importance
in Europe, becoming a precious cultural center for
From 1949 to 1498, a Domenican monk, called Girolamo
Savonarola,estabilished a Puritan regime,but in 1498
he lost the favour of the people and he was executed
on the fire as heretic.
The Medici returned to Florence in the XVI century, helped
by a Spanish army and they held the power for the 200
following years. In 1737 the Medici dynasty died out,
with the passage of the Grand Duchy of Tuscany to
Francis of Lorena. His son, the Grand Duke Pietro
Leopoldo, was the first ruler in Europe to abolish
torture and the death penality in 1786. A rare edition of
the encyclopedia was devoted to him by Diderot e d’
Subsequently, in 1861, the last Grand Duke was deposed
after a plebiscite and Tuscany joined to the neoestablished Kingdom of Italy. Florence replaced in
Turin as capital of Italy in 1865.In 1871 Rome became
Italy’ s capital.
de’ Medici
Grand Duke
In the XIX century the population in Florence doubled,
and it tripled in the XX, thanks to the growth of
tourism, commerce, financial services and industry.
Foreign communities arrived to represent a quarter
of the population in the second half of the 19th
The Romantic idea of this city as the centre of art dates
back to this period; several villas of important
families were left in inheritance to the city, above
all English, with their eclectic collections of art, that
today are real museums such as the Horne Museum
and the Stibbert Museum. During the Second world
war, the city was occupied by Nazi Germany (19431944). There was a strong and widespread
Resistence against Fascism, which culminated in
the insurrection of August 1944 and the following
battle sustained by the Partisans for the liberation of
the city (August 11th 1944).
In November 1966 big part of the center was flooded by
the rive, Arno, that damaged many treasures of art.
This event had as a result an unbelievable chain of
international solidarity, with thousands of
volunteers from the whole world, included Edward
Kennedy, called “the angels of the mud ”.
Despite the various testified clashes in the history of
Florence, our city has constantly welcomed
foreigners and Florence is today about to be a
Multicultural, ethnic reality and we hope that
everybody will feel at home in this beautiful city.
during the
flood of Arno
Florence nowadays
Main Monuments
Santa Maria del Fiore, Campanile di Giotto, Battistero
di San Giovanni, Galleria dell’Accademia, Palazzo Pitti,
Palazzo Vecchio, Galleria degli Uffizi, Ponte Vecchio,
Giardino di Boboli.
Santa Maria del Fiore
The construction of the
Cathedral of Florence began in
1296 and it is the fourth
biggest church in the world. It
reveals in its different parts
different styles, to testify the
variety of tastes given to the
city by merchants and artists
during its construction.
Santa Maria del Fiore
On the outside there are
Romanesque reminescences,
the interior is Gothic, the dome
is Renaissance, while the
façade is nineteenth-century.
Various artists contributed;
Giotto, Brunelleschi, Paolo
Uccello, Andrea del Castagno
and Ghiberti. The Cathedral has
always represented the cultural
and commercial centre of the
Battistero di San Giovanni
The Baptistery has an optagonal
plan, and it is completely
covered with slabs of white and
green marble from Prato. Its three
doors are the main attraction,
they are all made of bronze: the
southern door is by Pisano, the
northern one is by Ghiberti and
the eastern one is the most
famous, because it represents
the masterpiece of Ghiberti. The
interior presents a dome covered
with Byzantine mosaics.
Campanile di Giotto
Considered the most beautiful
in Italy, Giotto started the bell
tower in 1334, andit was
finished by Pisano and Talenti
in 1359. With its 84,70m, it is
the highest testimony of
Gothic Florentine architecture.
It is completely covered with
bicoloured marble.
Galleria dell’Accademia
Created in 1784 by the grand duke
Leopoldo di Lorena, it gathers some
of Michelangelo’s sculptures and
some works of minor Florentine
painting. It can be considered as a
part of the Uffizi. The main Attraction
is David and the Four Prisons, by
Michelangelo. David, in front of
Palazzo Vecchio, symbolized the
freedom of the Florentine Republic,
but during the past century it was
transported to the galleria
dell’Accademia, and replaced with a
Palazzo Pitti
The palace was built in the
fifteenth century, based on a
project by Brunelleschi. The
Medici’s enlarged it, turning it
into a royal residence; finally,
the Lorena’s built the two wings
that occupy the place. In the Pitti
Palace there is the Palatine
Gallery, the Gallery of Modern Art,
the Silver Museum, the Contini
Bonacossi collection, the Costume
Museum and the Coach Museum.
Palazzo Vecchio
Palazzo Vecchio was built at the
beginning of the fourteenth century
by Arnolfo di Cambio, as a centre of
the Art Priors. In Palazzo Vecchio
there are many rooms painted by
Vasari, Buontalenti, Leonardo and
Michelangelo. The Loggia de’ Lanzi
overlooks the Signoria square; it was
built in the 1380’s and collects statues
such as the Rape of the Sabines and
the Perseo, by Giambologna and
Cellini. Palazzo Vecchio is, with Santa
Maria del Fiore, the centre and the
heart of Florence.
Galleria degli Uffizi
It is one of the most famous
museums in the world, for its
wonderful collections of paintings
and statues, such as works of
Giotto, Simone Martini, Pier della
Francesca, Beato Angelico, Filippo
Lippi, Botticelli, Mantegna, Correggio,
Leonardo, Raffaello, Michelangelo
and Caravaggio. It was realized by
the grand Duke, Francesco I. The
Corridoio Vasariano is a hanging
corridor, constructed in 1565 by
Vasari, which links the Uffizi to
Palazzo Vecchio and the Pitti Palace.
Ponte Vecchio
The first construction goes back
to the Roman age, but it has been
damaged many times by floods.
The corridor is flanked by
craftmen’s studios: each of them
has only one window, closed by a
wooden door. In the middle of the
bridge there is a space without
shops because of two panoramic
terraces; the oriental one
surmounted by the Corridoio
Vasariano, the Western one
houses the Cellini monument.
Giardino di Boboli
The Boboli park is situated behind the
Pitti Palace. Its celebrity rose with the
Medici’s, designed by Pericoli, who
created his masterpiece of “green
architecture” in Boboli. It has always
been a model for all European royal
gardens. Throughout the centuries it
Has been enriched with works of
Buontalenti, Ammannati,
Giambologna, Tacca and Parigi. The
Lorena’s changed some areas into
English gardens typical of the
Romantic age.
Different cultures in
Florence boasts a historic heritage of the highest level, belonging to
different cults and cultures such as Jewish, Catholic, Ortodox and
Islamic cultures.
All of them have been welcomed here.
Convents, temples and monasteries rich in works of art, are
extraordinary historic witnesses.
The Jewish Temple and the
Jewish cemetry
The Jewish Temple is located in
the historic centre of the town.
With its green copper dome in
Moresque style, it was built at the
end of the XIX century; it's a very
big temple decorated with
numerous frescoes and mosaics.
There is a tombstone on the wall
as a constant remembrance of the
332 Florentine victims of the nazitascist cruelty.
The Jewish cemetry is located just
outside the ancient Renaissance
walls of the town. It was in use
until the end of the XIX century,
when a new one replaced it.
Lutheran Evangelic community and
Muslims community
At this time the first Lutheran
Evangelic German-speaking
community, settled in Florence and
a new church was built for them
near the river Arno. Because of
this location, it was damaged
during the second World War and
the flood of the Arno in 1966.
In order to favour the worship of
the Muslims living in Florence, a
Mosque has been built recently in
the outskirts of the town. Its
atmosphere is warm and friendly.
English cemetry and “Degli
allori” cemetry
This burial ground is very old, in fact it
was planned in the middle of the XIX
century, when the town wasn't as big
as it is now. Today, it stands not far
from the town centre, in the middle of
two avenues always full of traffic. In
this cemetery many English people,
who had chosen to live in Florence in
the last decades of the XIX century, are
buried. The most famous English
woman who lived in Florence for a few
years and who‘ s buried there is the
famous poet Elizabeth Barret
When this cemetery was closed to
burials, a new Evangelic cemetery
called "degli ALLORI" was built. It was
designed in Gothic style and with the
passing of time, it become so big as to
host also Catholic tumbs.
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