Home to the imposing Palazzo Vecchio, Piazza della Signoria is the most important public square in Florence. The political heart of the city for centuries, today the square is also a vibrant social hub, where locals and tourists gather at the Loggia dei Lanzi and Neptune fountain to soak up the elegant atmosphere.
Piazza della Signoria is best known as site of 14th-century Palazzo Vecchio, the crenellated fortresslike city hall and museum that anchors one side of the L-shaped square and was once seat of the Florentine Republic. The square is also home to the sculpture collection housed under the open-air Loggia dei Lanzi, the 16th-century Fountain of Neptune, a replica of Michelangelo’s David where the original once stood, and a number of important Renaissance palaces. The Uffizi Gallery is just off the square.
A stroll through Piazza della Signoria is one of the highlights of Florence walking tours and sightseeing tours by Segway or bike. Most private and small-group tours also include skip-the-line tickets to top attractions including the Duomo, the Uffizi, and Accademia Gallery. Kid-friendly Florence tours stop in Piazza della Signoria, and food tours pair a visit with beer, wine, or gelato tastings.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Piazza della Signoria is lined with restaurants and bars, including the historic Café Rivoire, perfect for a snack or drink.
- The square is flat and paved, easy to navigate with wheelchairs or strollers.
- Wear a hat and sunscreen if visiting in summer, as the square has little shade.
- Be sure to bring your camera to Piazza della Signoria, as it is one of the most picturesque spots in central Florence.
How to Get There
Piazza della Signoria marks the heart of Florence’s historical center and is a short walk from the Duomo, Ponte Vecchio, and Santa Maria Novella train station.
When to Get There
Florence is one of the most popular destinations in Italy for day trips and shore excursions, and Piazza della Signoria is particularly hot and crowded in summer. Visit in spring or fall to enjoy the square with cooler temperatures and fewer tourists. A number of important historical and religious processions pass through the square each year, including the Cavalcade of the Three Kings on January 6 and the Carnival parade in February.
Piazza della Signoria was the site of the 1497 bonfire of the vanities, a Catholic reformist uprising led by the Dominican monk Savonarola who preached against the excesses of secular culture and urged his followers to burn works of art and literature. After defying Pope Alexander VI, Savonarola was hanged in the square, and today there is a plaque marking the spot of his execution.