Palazzo Vecchio: handpicked hotels and insider tips
Palazzo Vecchio: introduction
Built in 1299 to the designs of Arnolfo Cambio, Palazzo Vecchio was originally the seat of the Piori delle Arti e della Signoria, and temporary residence of the great Ducal family of Cosimo I de' Medici. After the family moved to Palazzo Pitti, Palazzo Vecchio was largely restored. Many rooms were renovated and ornamented, with sumptuous decorations by Vasari, who bore in mind that the building was soon destined to be the seat of the government, and would provide hospitality for the Royal Family. Today, Palazzo Vecchio houses a large museum in the part of the building named Quartieri Monumentali. The 16th century Salone, the Stanza degli Elementi, Francesco I de' Medici's study and the Sala dei Gigli can be seen here. The Loggia dei Lanzi dominating the Piazza della Signoria in front of Palazzo Vecchio, provides a dramatic stage for the statues of "Perseo" by Cellini and "the Rape of the Sabine Women" by Giambologna.