Florence center Palazzo Vecchio
The Palazzo Vecchio is the town hall of Florence, Italy. the palace was built by architect Arnolfo di Cambio, commissioned by the medieval government in the late 13th century.
On one side of the entrance to the Palazzo Vecchio, stands a copy Michelangelo's David, sculpted from a single block of marble when the artist was only thirty years old.
The piazza where is palazzo vecchio (Piazza Signoria) was chosen as administrative heart of the city. The tower "Torre d'Arnolfo" of palazzo vecchio is about 300-foot-high (94 m) and it dominates the plaza.
This tower contains two small cells, that, at different times, imprisoned Cosimo de' Medici (the Elder) (1435) and Girolamo Savonarola (1498).
The palazzo vecchio was built on the site of the Uberti clan s Palazzo dei Fanti and
Palazzo dell Escutore di Giustizia, which were both destroyed when the Uberti were exiled from Florence
at the end of the war between the Guelphs and Ghibellines.
In 1540, Cosimo I of the Medici family converted the palace into the residence of the Dukes of Florence.
Major attractions inside Palazzo Vecchio include Room of the Lilies, Elenora di Toledo's Rooms, the inner courtyard with the Putto Fountain.
The inner courtyard (1453) is filled with frescoes by Giorgio Vasari, celebrating the marriage of Francesco de Medici (who originated the use of pietre dure
in the making of mosaics). Inside is the immense Salone dei Cinquecento (Room of the 500), commissioned in 1495 by Savonarola as a meeting place for the 500
members of the parliament he appointed to the republic after the expulsion of the Medici (who returned to power in 1540).
Initially decorated with drafts of frescoes by Michelangelo and Leonardo da Vinci, the wall panels were later frescoed over by Vasari.