Historic Palazzo Vecchio ('old palace') has been at the political heart of Florence for more than 7 centuries. With its late-medieval crenellated roofline and soaring defensive tower, it dominates the lovely buildings and sculptures of Piazza della Signoria in the heart of Florence.
The striking building was built in the early 1300s, and was redecorated by the ruling Medici family in the 16th century. Inside you can imagine how life at the top was lived in Renaissance Florence by touring the luxuriously decorated chambers.
From the courtyards to the chapel and private rooms, you’ll see elaborately decorated ceilings, frescoes by the celebrated Renaissance painter Vasari, and statues by such luminaries as Donatello and Michelangelo.
Climb to the top of the tower for stupendous views of Florence and the Arno valley.
Our guide, Antonio, was funny. We enjoyed learning about the history of many of the famous buildings. He also gave us a good recommendation for gelato.
Palazzo Vecchio is in the southern corner of Piazza della Signoria, a short stroll from the Uffizi Gallery. Via de' Calzaiuoli leads off the piazza to nearby Piazza della Repubblica and onwards to the Duomo.