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Florence - Piazza della Signoria

Piazza della Signoria Photo Tour
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Florence, the city where the Renaissance began...

One of the world's preeminent art capitals...

You will find many of the city's great art masterpieces in the Piazza della Signoria.

As surely as Florence is the capital of Tuscany,
the Piazza della Signoria is the heart of Florence.

Pallazzo Vecchio in the Piazza della SignoriaThe Piazza was born in the struggles between the nobles, the Ghibelline, and the middle class, the Guelph, in the 13th Century. The nobles lost control of the city and the Guelph party destroyed their palaces. Nothing was ever built on the empty ground where those grand residences once stood.

After the struggle, the city leaders called on Arnolfo da Cambio to design a suitable building to house the new government. His answer was the Pallazzo della Signoria, the Palace of the Lord. The palace gave it's name to the piazza. The L-shaped space that once was home to the noble families became the focus of political power in the centuries that followed.

When the Medicis returned to power, the name was changed. The Medici dukes were THE Lords and their home was the Palace of the Lord. The Palazzo della Signoria was given its Palazzo Vechio Towermodern name of Palazzo Vecchio.

The imposing cube is accented by the Torre d'Arnolfo - Arnolfo's soaring clock tower topped by a bronze sphere and the Marzocco, a lion, holding up the Florentine lily in the crisp Tuscan light. These are the images that identify Florence to most visitors.

The Loggia della Signoria, or Loggia of the Lanzi, was built later for public assemblies. Today the figures gathered on the Loggia are sculpted forms.

The 19th century Rape of Polyxena, the classical group of six female figures, and Menelaus Holding Up the Body of Patroclus stand in the place where medieval citizens came to watch colorful pagents.

They are joined by the Mannerist Rape of the Sabines, Hercules Fighting the Centaur, and Perseus with the Head of the Medusa.

Palazzo Vecchio horse drawn carriagesThe copy of Michaelangelo's David, the Fountain of Neptune spraying drops of water turned to pearls of light by the Tuscan sun, the statue of Cosimo I, the flower-strewn restaurants, the horse drawn carriages…

All deserve a separate story article strictly devoted to all of them. For now, we hope you have learned enough about our favorite Florence location to start planning a visit sometime very soon ....


Related links:

Piazza della Signoria - Wikipedia
Florence Art Guide - Piazza della Signoria
A Florentine Notebook - Piazza Della Signoria


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