- Piazza della Signoria
the city where the Renaissance began...
of the world's preeminent art capitals...
will find many of the city's great art masterpieces in the
Piazza della Signoria.
surely as Florence is the capital of Tuscany,
the Piazza della Signoria is the heart of Florence.
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.
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.
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 modern
name of Palazzo Vecchio.
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.
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.
are joined by the Mannerist Rape of the Sabines, Hercules
Fighting the Centaur, and Perseus with the Head of
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…
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
della Signoria - Wikipedia
Art Guide - Piazza della Signoria
Florentine Notebook - Piazza Della Signoria