Florence’s Loggia dei Lanzi is a 14th-century open-air gallery featuring pieces by Renaissance sculptors Benvenuto Cellini and Giambologna alongside sculptural works from Roman antiquity. Named for the Swiss guards of Cosimo I, the Loggia was a terrace from which the ruling Medici family presided over ceremonies in the Piazza della Signoria.The Basics
The Loggia dei Lanzi, also called the Loggia della Signoria or the Loggia dell’Orcagna, is an easy and essential add-on to your tour of Florence’s most popular Renaissance monuments. Most walking and Segway tours of the city center often include the Loggia as a stop while discussing its neighboring building, the Palazzo Vecchio. You can also choose to tour the gallery without a guide, as it is free and open to the public during daytime hours. Things to Know Before You Go
How to Get There
- The Loggia dei Lanzi is a must-do for art history buffs, with intact examples of sculptures from antiquity and subtle indications of the Medici family’s political clout.
- Food and drink is prohibited within the Loggia.
- There is a short flight of steps to reach the gallery. There is no wheelchair access, though the sculptures are visible from the piazza below.
The Loggia dei Lanzi is located in the historic center of Florence, in the southeastern corner of the Piazza della Signoria and beside the Palazzo Vecchio. Most visitors arrive by foot, as the historic center of Florence is closed to cars and public transportation.When to Get There
The gallery is open from 8am to 7pm daily year-round. Try to come in the early morning before the Loggia gets busy, as during peak hours—11am to 5pm—a guard will usher you out quickly to accommodate the crowds.
Art History in the Loggia dei Lanzi
With a little observation, you’ll notice the understated traces of art history in the Loggia dei Lanzi. The two lions that mark the gallery entrance are symbols of Florence, but one lion is from Roman times and the other was created in the 16th century. Giambologna’s Rape of the Sabine Women
was sculpted from a single block of imperfect marble—the largest block ever brought to Florence. And Cellini’s bronze Perseus
was originally cast with three toes missing on its right foot; the toes were added after the metal cooled.