The Italian city of Florence is one of the art capitals of the world, thanks to its culturally rich history. When you look at the skyline of Florence, there are two buildings that dominate the view. The first one is the Duomo, or Florence Cathedral. The second one, is the Palazzo Vecchio, located on the beautiful Piazza della Signoria.
The building of this Medieval palace with its Gothic windows started in 1299 following the design of Alfredo di Cambio. And while the outside of the Palazzo Vecchio has not changed much since, the inside has been remodeled several times over the centuries. And that has resulted in a palace with stunning rooms filled with amazing Renaissance art. We have now introduced a brand new audio tour of the Palazzo Vecchio in the Amuze app (iOS and Android). Try one of our audio files below. If you like it, you can listen to the full tour, for free, in our app.
Our tour starts in the Hall of the Five Hundred, an impressive sight with its 54 meters long, 23 meters wide, and 18 meters high. The walls of this city hall are filled with large frescos of Florentine battles. Once, in the past, Michelangelo and Leonardo da Vinci were working on their large frescos here, but they never finished them. In their places, we can see, among others, Giorgio Vasari’s fresco of the Battle of Marciano. Vasari was the man tasked with designing and decorating many of the rooms of this palace and his influence can be felt throughout the tour.
The tour continues with the incredible coffered ceiling of the Hall of the Five Hundred, with, in the center, a fresco of the Apotheosis of Duke Cosimo I, who commissioned these frescos. And don’t miss Michelangelo’s wonderful statue of the Genius of Victory.
And while the Hall of the Five Hundred was designed to impress the visitors of the Florentine dukes, the palace is filled with many smaller rooms that contain the most exquisite art. The Studiolo of Francesco I is a great example. It is a private chamber were the duke surrounded himself by all the things that he loved. Wherever you look is gold, paintings, and statues. A sight that is hard to forget.
The tour continues on the floor above with one beautiful, thematic room after the other, including the Apartments of the Elements, the Apartments of Eleanora of Toledo, and the Apartments of the Priori. You will come across a wide variety of art, including statues by Donatello and Andrea del Verrocchio, rooms full with frescos, and a room filled with maps. And, in the meanwhile, you will hear about some of the illustrious people that lived in this palace.
If you have not read the book Inferno by Dan Brown yet, I highly recommend you do so before or after your visit, as an important part of the book takes place in the Palazzo Vecchio.
My hope is that this tour will allow you to better enjoy the Palazzo Vecchio after it reopens. And while the museums around the world are still closed, you can take this tour virtually or check out one of the other museum or virtual tours in our app (like the Uffizi Museum which is located next door).
Wishing you and your family all the best!