Palazzo Davanzati is a mansion-turned-museum in Florence that models what life was like in medieval Italy. Built in the 14th century, the palace contains more than 10 rooms beautifully and carefully decorated with period furniture and frescoes, as well as a courtyard and original stone and wood staircases.
The palace is comprised of four floors: the ground floor, where an atrium gives way to the courtyard; the first floor, which showcases the Great Hall, the Parrot Room, a bathroom, a bedroom, and the study; the second floor, which holds a single bedroom; and the upper floor, which contains two more bedrooms and a kitchen. The former home is renowned for its unique architecture, restored frescoes, and wall decorations on display in almost every room.
Because the rooms resemble 13th- to 15th-century Florence, Palazzo Davanzati is often included on medieval-themed tours of the city. Small group walking tours that visit the palace also often include the Accademia Gallery (Gallerie dell’Accademia) and Dante’s House (Museo Casa di Dante). The museum is also a popular stop on kid-focused tours.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Palazzo Davanzati is a must for architecture and history buffs, as well as families with children.
- The palace is included on the Firenze Card, which grants cardholders access to more than 70 museums and landmarks in Florence, saving time and money.
- For wheelchair access, contact staff in advance. There is an elevator that leads to the upper floor, but most doorways have a 2.3-inch (6-centimeter) step.
How to Get There
Located at 13 Porta Rossa, the Palazzo is best accessed on foot, and is an easy 3-minute walk from the Ponte Vecchio. The nearest transit stop is Museo di Palazzo on bus C2.
When to Get There
The museum is open daily from 8:50am to 1:15pm, but is occasionally closed for special events on Sundays and Mondays, so call ahead before you go. Because it’s a hidden gem, the museum rarely feels crowded. Your best bet for a quiet visit is to go on a weekday.
Wondering why the palace’s kitchen is on the top floor, as opposed to what we would normally associate with servants quarters—the basement? In medieval Florence kitchens were located on the top floor of most large homes so that if a fire erupted, damage would be done only to the upper floor and would not affect the rooms below.