Undoubtedly one of the most famous and photographed buildings in Florence, the Palazzo Vecchio is the town hall of Florence, and looks out onto Piazza della Signoria and down onto the replica of Michelangelo’s David.
But not everybody knows, that this symbol of the power of Florence rulers has many hidden passages and doors behind paintings, dark hall ways and unkown secret rooms.
Some of these ‘private’ areas were opened to the public for the first time, and now allows visitors to dive into ancient Florence between intrigues and secrets of the most famous court during the Renaissance.
With the secret passages tour, you can discover the Roman Florence by walking through private passages created for the Medici’s to avoid enemies and move safely. Time seems to have stood still in these secret places inside the Palazzo Vecchio where you now get the chance to relive the emotions of the past.
The Stairway of the Duke of Athens, for example, is an escape route built inside the thick walls of the Palazzo between 1342 and 1343 that exits from a tiny door in Via della Ninna. The Tesoretto and the Studiolo are located one on top of the other next to the Salone dei Cinquecento and are reminiscent of the refined and cultured climate of the Italian courts during the Renaissance. They represent one of the most significant examples of the princes’ passion for collecting. The double rows of Vasarian trusses holding up the roof in the Salone dei Cinquecento and the imposing gilded ceiling of this hall are a perfect expression of the unity between art and science that was typical of the Humanism and Renaissance periods.
The secret passages can only be visited by small groups – max. 12 people – and have to be accompanied by an expert guide. The tour is available only on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays, and departs at 2.30 PM. The tour lasts roughly one and a quarter hours.
So, step back in time and admire some of the most exciting, mysterious, and recently restored rooms and passages of Florence’s splendid town hall Palazzo Vecchio!
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