[Dario’s version] Palazzo Vecchio: its rooms and its secrets.

Florence through the Mayor’s eyes - Chapter 5.

Discover Florence through the Mayor’s eyes: a trip through the places and the mysteries of the city.

If you want to discover Florence through the city’s real history and public life, you can’t miss Palazzo Vecchio and if it would take hours to tell you all about this building, with some suggestions your visit will become a special one.

It was designed by Arnolfo di Cambio, an incredibile urban planner and architect that designed in the same years the Santa Maria del Fiore Cathedral and then the city walls that for many years surrounded and defended the city. Arnolfo di Cambio is famous for the tower that stands over Palazzo Vecchio, one of the highest point in the city along with Giotto’s Bell Tower and Brunelleschi’s Dome. The Arnolfo’s Tower affords extraordinary views of Florence: book a visit soon!

You also cannot miss Francesco’s studiolo [small study], son of Cosimo I de’ Medici. He was a man who loved art and alchemy – very unlike his father the warrior and for this reason, he created a remarkable space for reflection and experimentation at the back of the Salone dei Cinquecento: a little treasure chest where you’ll find some pleasant surprises like secret passageways that show you a lesser-known but key side of Palazzo Vecchio. Going towards Leo X’s room, the great Medici pope, check out the room bordering Cosimo’s room. It’s not open to the public, but if you chance upon the mayor or a willing worker, you’ll be lucky to see a room frescoed in the mid-16th century by Giorgio Vasari.

The rooms of Cosimo, Clement VII (the other Medici pope, a decisive figure in the reconquering of Florence in 1530) and Eleanor of Toledo’s apartment (Cosimo’s wife), the Sala dei Duecento that today is the seat of the city council… a visit to the Palazzo Vecchio is a way of diving into the past while breathing in the present: this is where we decide the future of the city. Enjoy your visit!

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