Florence’s majestic Piazza della Signoria

Florence’s Piazza della Signoria has been the heart of Florence’s political and urban life for centuries, and any tourist should ensure their walk in the city takes them to this busltling square.

Building on the Palazzo Vecchio, Florence’s Town Hall, was completed in 1332. The belltower used to warn Florentines of fires, invaders – or just call them to meetings.

Piazza della Signoria, Florence, Italy / Kimberly Sullivan

Duke Cosimo I moved into the palace in 1540. While he maintained the medieval exterior, he completely remodelled the interior. Athough Da Vinci and Michelangelo were asked to do this work, it would eventually be Vasari who wuld create the large frescoes lauding Florence’s achievements.

The most famous object on the piazza is a copy of Michelangelo’s David. The original stood at this spot until 1873, when it was moved into the Galleria dell’Accademia – where you can now view the original.

Created in 1504, Michelangelo’s masterpiece depicts the Biblical hero, David, a boy who defeated Goliath. The city – in its new status as a Republic – commissioned the then-29-year-old Michelangelo to sculpt this symbol of the city’s independence from outside influence and domination.

Piazza della Signoria, Florence, Italy / Kimberly Sullivan

The medieval frieze over the entrance of the Palazzo Vecchio, just behind the David, proclaims in Latin “Christ is King”, reminding Florentines that mortal rulers should never possess absolute power.

The loggia at the edge of the piazza today houses Ancient Roman statues. This same space once housed the military bodyguards of Duke Cosimo I.

Piazza della Signoria, Florence, Italy / Kimberly Sullivan

Do what Florentines have done for centuries – and be sure to spent a significant amount of time here on this spectacular piazza on your next visit to Tuscany’s capital.

Piazza della Signoria, Florence, Italy / Kimberly Sullivan

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