Florence

Palazzo Vecchio

Room in Palazzo Vecchio
Room in Palazzo Vecchio

What can I say about Palazzo Vecchio?

Well? I’m waiting.

Oh, alright. You’re no help whatsoever. I’ll come up with something on my own.

Construction of Palazzo Vecchio began at the end of the thirteenth century, 1299 to be more precise, and continued into the early part of the fourteenth century, with some additions built in later centuries. It’s located immediately beside the Piazza dell Signoria, which deserves its own blog post. (That will be my next post. I’ll try to remember to come back here and put in a link.)

Ceiling in Palazzo Vecchio
Ceiling in Palazzo Vecchio

Its original purpose of the palazzo was to serve as the seat of government of Florence of the day.

Today, the Palazzo Vecchio is a museum that consists of a series of salons or what the english signage refers to as “apartments” or “rooms.” However, if they are apartments then they are not like any apartments I know. Then again, that might be just because I’m not one of the top 1%, or more likely 0.1%, wealthiest people in the country—any country.

Getting into the pleasant lobby of the palazzo is free, but there’s a fee to get further into the museum to see its rooms, apartments and halls. (By “halls” I mean halls more in the nature of banquet halls, rather than hallways. However, there are, obviously, hallways too. Otherwise it would be a tad difficult to get from one room to the next.)

View from Palazzo Vecchio terrace
View from Palazzo Vecchio terrace

Throughout, the apartments, rooms and halls are sumptuously adorned with beautiful sculptures and paintings. Many also have lavishly and intricately painted ceilings.

One of the rooms houses several old maps, some of which might historical significant, but, to be honest, I wasn’t paying much attention to details. I was just in awe of their age. You might be more academically interested in such things. If so, start your own damned blog and feel free to inform us.

Another room was a charming chapel. I figure the chapel is there so the owners of the palazzo could go there to pray that they would be able to continue to afford the upkeep of the building and its contents.

View from Palazzo Vecchio tower
View from Palazzo Vecchio tower

There’s a terrace off one of the upstairs rooms that has a beautiful view of Florence. While there, I daydreamed about living in the Palazzo back in the day and leisurely eating delectable, delicious meals that servants served to me outside on the terrace as the peons of Medieval times went about their tedious work below. Then I remembered that I’m a middle-income schlub from Toronto, born in the twentieth and now living in the twenty-first century, who has trouble getting a good table in a decent restaurant even on a weeknight. In other words, it’s never going to happen.

If the view from the terrace isn’t quite enough to die for for you—and I strongly recommend that you don’t die for it, there’s also a tower to climb where you can get an even better view.

Been there? Done that? Do tell.