The Palazzo Vecchio Museum is one of the largest and most important civic museums in Italy and is housed inside the homonymous building, in Piazza della Signoria in Florence, seat of the Municipality today. Mainly developed on two floors, the Museum showcases above all the work and ingenuity of Giorgio Vasari, who designed most of the rooms, used as offices and private apartments of Cosimo I and his wife, and the grand staircase inside.
- Hours and prices
- Online tickets and guided tours
- What to see and how to visit Palazzo Vecchio Museum
- Where is it and how to get there
- Useful tips for visiting the attraction
- Historical notes and curiosities: what to know in brief
- User questions and comments
Hours and prices
- from April to September, every day except Thursday, from 09:00 to 23:00; on Thursdays, from 09:00 to 14:00. From October to March, every day except Thursday, from 09:00 to 19:00; on Thursdays, from 09:00 to 14:00. Closed on January 1st, Easter Day, December 25th.
- Best time to avoid queues: early in the morning
- € 10,00
- Reductions: € 8,00 for children aged 18 to 25 and for university students
- Free: for children up to 18 years; for student groups and their teachers; for tour guides and interpreters; for the disabled and their carers; for ICOM, ICOMOS and ICCROM members; for holders of the Firenze Card.
Online tickets and guided tours
What to see and how to visit Palazzo Vecchio Museum
The Palazzo Vecchio Museum is located in the heart of the historic center of Florence and is located within what is now the seat of the municipality.
The building that houses it is divided into an outdoor area, which includes the entrance, the Arnolfo Tower, the Tramontana Gate and the Dogana Gate; an area dedicated to three courtyards and the Chamber of Arms, located on the ground floor, and one inner part, which is the real museum, consisting of two floors, the upper gallery and the mezzanine.
We recommend that you start from the first floor and gradually go up to the last. Below we present the various areas of interest in more detail.
1 - First floor
- Salone dei Cinquecento: one of the most important and precious halls in all of Italy, Vasari also contributed to its construction. His most famous work, located in the southern part, is Michelangelo's marble group The genius of Victory.
- Studiolo of Francesco I: also made by Vasari, its walls and vaults are entirely covered with paintings, many of which represent the four elements. Also present are the portraits of Cosimo I and his wife Eleonora di Toledo.
- Monumental districts: a set of majestically decorated rooms inspired by the celebration of the Medici family. The paintings that enrich these rooms are the work of Giorgio Vasari, Marco da Faenza and Giovanni Stradano.
- The Ricetto: environment characterized by the presence of a vault frescoed by Lorenzo Sabatini, with the depiction of allegorical images and imperial coats of arms.
- The Sala dei Dugento: room reserved for the Town Council meeting, very often it cannot be visited. However, the tapestries on its walls are noteworthy, having been made by important Renaissance artists, such as Bronzino or Pontormo.
- Room of the Eight: it is a small office characterized by the presence of a very worked roof, carved with cherubs' heads and lilies.
2 - Second floor
The second floor is accessed via a large staircase built by Giorgio Vasari and which leads to the following rooms.
- Neighborhood of the Elements: series of apartments consisting of five rooms and two loggias. Inside them there are numerous allegorical paintings and frescoes, made in most cases by Vasari, Giovanni Stradano, but also by Verrocchio. It was the private apartment of Cosimo I.
- Eleonora neighborhood: area of the building dedicated to Cosimo I's wife, Eleonora, also designed by Giorgio Vasari and enriched by many works by Stradano. Composed of several rooms plus a chapel, it has large windows, from which you can see the first section of the Vasari Corridor, which leads from the Palazzo to the Uffizi.
- Chapel of the Priors: chapel dedicated to San Bernardo, whose reliquary is kept inside. The frescoes on the walls and ceiling, which reproduce the gold mosaics, are the work of Ridolfo del Ghirlandaio.
- Audience Hall: room used at the time for the meeting of a Gonfaloniere and eight priors, it has a barrel roof laminated in gold and an inscription in honor of Christ.
- Hall of Lilies: this room takes its name from the presence of lilies on the ceiling and on the walls, which however do not represent the Florentine lilies, but those of the crown of France, as thanksgiving and a tribute of loyalty to the Anjou. Inside is also exhibited the famous work of Donatello, the Judith and Holofernes.
- Room of geographic maps or the cloakroom: room where the Medici Grand Dukes kept their precious possessions. In the center of the room is the famous Mappa Mundi, the largest globe at the time of its construction, ruined over time due to frequent restorations.
- Old Chancellery: most likely Machiavelli's office when he held the office of Secretary of the Republic. The room houses a bas-relief on the back wall, of St. George and the Dragon, coming from Porta San Giorgio.
- Lounge: interesting environment for the presence of a fresco depicting a real historical episode, namely The expulsion of the Duke of Athens; this work is attributed to Orcagna.
- Studio album: room used as Cellini's studio, which he used for the restoration of the Medici family treasures.
The upper gallery
Another important flight of stairs connects the second floor with the gallery and the tower. Along the way, it is possible to stop and admire the famous Sala delle Bandiere, which today is one of the most important restoration studios specialized in tapestries, headed by the Opificio delle Pietre Dure.
The mezzanine (Loeser Collection)
It is an area located between the first and second floors and was built by Michelozzo by lowering the ceilings of the first floor. For a long time it was used as a study of Cosimo I, who also had a window on Piazza della Signoria. The environment is full of paintings, most of which see the Madonna and Child as the subject, all made by different artists.
Where is it and how to get there
- On foot: Piazza della Signoria, in the historic center, just 600 meters from Brunelleschi's Dome - Get directions
- By bus: the historic center of Florence, with its main monuments, is connected by lines C1, C2, C3, and C4
- By tram: from the outskirts, the T1 and T2 lines allow you to reach Firenze Santa Maria Novella, the station in the historic center
Useful tips for visiting the attraction
- Get up early: Palazzo Vecchio is the symbol of the city of Florence, so it is besieged by all tourists. To limit the concomitance with other visitors, we recommend that you go to the entrance very early in the morning.
- Buy the city card: if you are interested in visiting other museums or attractions in the city, you can buy the Firenze Card and enter the Palazzo Vecchio for free.
- Priority ticket: to avoid the long queues at the cash desk, it is possible to buy entrance tickets online.
- Guided tours: 1 hour and 30 minutes morning tour to Palazzo Vecchio - Florence: walking tour and visit to Palazzo Vecchio
- Watch out for restrictions: some areas of the Palazzo, such as the Tower, are off-limits to children under 6 and strongly discouraged for those suffering from claustrophobia or motor difficulties. If you want to extend your visit to these areas as well, take this into consideration.
- Minimum time: we advise you to consider a minimum of two hours for the visit. If you want to linger in the other areas of the Palace as well, the ideal would be to dedicate at least three hours to this visit.
- Special events: since the Palazzo Vecchio is the seat of the municipality of Florence, it could sometimes be closed in an extraordinary way for political events and events; We therefore invite you to consult the Museum website before organizing your visit.
Historical notes and curiosities: what to know in brief
The Palazzo Vecchio Museum is housed in the Palazzo Vecchio, seat of the municipality of Florence, which has taken on various names over the course of history, including Palazzo dei Priori and Palazzo della Signoria. It has a markedly medieval aspect and, among the details that compose it, it is also possible to see the historical and typical architectural contrast between Guelphs and Ghibellines: the battlements of the gallery, in fact, is called "guelfa" (or squared), while that tower is "ghibelline", that is, a swallow's nest.
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