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Top sights in Florence
Palazzo Vecchio is one of Florence's premier museums, where you can explore many different layers of Italian history since Roman times.
Although only accessible from underground - the Palazzo was built directly on top of it - the ruins of a Roman theater testify to this building's age.
At 95 meters tall, this tower is the definitive symbol of Florence and absolutely the best place to take your pictures of the city's charming buildings.
There's more to the fortress than the Tower. Construction of the fortress began in 1299 under Arnolfo di Cambio. Today its battlements and sturdy stone structure symbolize political potence from times gone by.
This was built as the grandest room - originally intended to serve as the seat of the Great Council. Now it serves as the centerpiece for anyone's visit.
The maze of chambers with artwork and decorated ceilings by Michelangelo, among other prominent Renaissance artists, is not to be missed - you won't have seen anything like it quite on this scale!
If rain is in the forecast, access to the Tower of Palazzo Vecchio will be suspended for safety reasons.
Winter opening times for the tower are limited compared to summer (or high season), so if you're visiting between October and March, make sure to get there early in the day.
The way to the top of the tower is 418 steps, so don't attempt to climb if it may put your health at risk - there is no elevator.
On sunny days - and even when the sun's behind a cloud! - it's important to cover up with sunscreen. And even more so because you're nearly 100 meters closer to the sun!
- When should I visit?
- Open October - March, 9:00AM to 7:00PM. April - September, 9:00AM to 11:00PM. Special opening hours on Thursdays from 9:00AM to 2:00PM.
- Is it expensive?
- Museum admission: 10euros. Tower and Battlements: 10euros. Discount available for students.
- Will I need a guide?
- Free to explore on your own or find a guided tour and receive insight into the many layers of history present.
- How to get there
- Located in the center of Florence at the Piazza della Signoria.
- Additional information
- As a top sight for Florence, be prepared for a bit of a wait to get in. If you get the Firenze card, you can skip the lines and get to the front.
- The steps outside the museum serve for a perfect spot to rest before or after your visit and take in prime Florence people watching and occassional street performances in the Piazza.
What people are saying about Palazzo Vecchio
We had a great guide who gave us a lot of information about the history of the palace and of Venice since the palace was erected. He was especially well educated in art history and pointed us to the most interesting spots. We would have missed many of them without his help. Besides the statues and paintings, we were most impressed with the building itself and its history in connecdtion with the history of the city. We were truly impressed to see for the first time the original painting of Machiavelli which is so well known from the title cover of his most famous book. We were very grateful for the competent guide.
Everything went fine, although the Audioguide in the palazzo is not as good as it seems like. It looks super professional, with tablet and 3d map and everything, but it is really confusing sometimes and we just abandoned it halfway through. Now about the service itself, it is exactly as it is advertised, easy to find and very straightforward, so we were happy.
Our tour guide Rachele was fantastic. She engaged the kids in a fun, enthusiastic way. She was flexible and changed of itinerary based on our needs (bathroom brakes and walking distance between sights). She had a game and treasure hunt for the kids too. She even haver them souvenirs at the end. There was plenty of info for the adults too on the tour.
My girlfriend and I had a great excursion to the Palazzo Vecchio. It’s a must see when you visit Florence. The paintings are lit of this world and I’d recommend highly. Especially if you love the history of the Medici family and the renaissance.
The ease of meeting our rep was brilliant and receiving our tickets was quickly established. Despite the marathon being run the same day, there’s was helpful in getting us to where we needed to go.