Palazzo Vecchio

About Palazzo Vecchio

Palazzo Vecchio is a captivating palace in Florence that takes you through three distinctive ages: the Roman era, the Middle Ages, and the Renaissance period. This historic landmark, Palazzo della Signoria, is like a time machine, blending craftsmanship and history consistently for centuries. The brilliant architect Arnolfo di Cambio came up with the thought for Palazzo Vecchio, and it has been a symbol of civic power in Florence since 1299. 

The sturdy castle was built on the remains of the devastated Uberti Ghibelline towers, displaying the Guelph faction’s triumph in the conflict. Take the chance to visit Palazzo Vecchio Tower, which offers a panoramic view of Florence. Embark on a remarkable journey through time within the walls of Palazzo Vecchio, where you’ll see the dynamic heartbeat of the city’s wealthy past.

Palazzo Vecchio, a special place in Florence, is not just a palace – Did you know it hides secret passages built by the Medici for escaping enemies and storing valuables? Palazzo Vecchio’s history started in 1299 when the people of Florence wanted a remarkable palace. It was meant to be the home of government offices and a symbol of the people’s power. Arnolfo di Cambio, who designed the Duomo and Santa Croce churches, began building them on old palaces’ remains in Piazza della Signoria. Building such grand structures took a long time, with many generations making changes. In the 16th century, Cosimo I de Medici decided to live there, giving it a makeover. It became the Ducal Palace with its current look. Later, Cosimo I moved to the Pitti Palace, and Palazzo Ducale got a new name – Palazzo Vecchio. 

It became a place for government offices and valuable things. Cosimo I wanted a connection between Pitti Palace and Palazzo Vecchio, so he built the Vasari Corridor, a corridor for more comfort and privacy. Today, visiting the Palazzo Vecchio Museum means stepping into centuries of history. From a symbol of power to a residence and then a government hub, it tells the tale of Florence’s past. Embark on an exciting journey through Palazzo Vecchio’s secret passages tour, where you’ll explore the museum, ascend the Arnolfo Tower, and uncover hidden gems like the Stefano Bardini Museum and Museo Novecento. Take the chance to unravel the secrets of Palazzo Vecchio, a must-visit destination among Florence attractions.

Tips for your visit to Palazzo Vecchio

  • Choose October to April and early morning or late evening slots for a quieter experience, spending 1–2 hours. 
  • Secure online tickets in advance, valid for six months, and skip lines during busy seasons.
  • Follow our Florence guide tips and opt for off-peak times for fewer crowds due to timed entry slots.
  • Recognize Palazzo Vecchio’s dual role as a Renaissance museum and local government hub.
  • Most areas are wheelchair-accessible, except for the tower and mezzanine level.

Tickets for Palazzo Vecchio

When planning your visit to Palazzo Vecchio in Florence, Italy, consider the diverse ticket options available online. General admission is accessible, with free entry for children 17 and under, reduced rates for those 18–25, and special considerations for college students, disabled individuals, and more. For an enhanced experience, explore the tower and battlements or opt for guided tours and activities, which are available at reasonable prices with additional discounts for Florence metropolitan area residents. 

Moreover, save time and enjoy convenience with skip-the-line tickets, an excellent choice for individuals aged 18–25. Families with children under six can benefit from free entry when choosing guided tour tickets. Palazzo Vecchio, a fortress-like palace with a 309-foot tower, was once the residence of the Medici family and stands as a symbol of Florence’s civil power. To ensure a seamless visit, we recommend booking your tickets through our website, unlocking the door to Florence’s rich history and cultural heritage.

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How to arrive to Palazzo Vecchio

Palazzo Vecchio is easily reached on foot, located in the heart of Florence’s historical center at Piazza della Signoria. Enjoy a pleasant stroll along Via Calzaiuoli, the main shopping street, from the station or Piazza del Duomo. The journey on foot is part of the experience, allowing you to soak in the city’s charm. It takes just over 10 minutes from Santa Maria Novella station, a similar duration from Piazza Santa Croce, and approximately 5 minutes from Piazza del Duomo. Remember that these times are theoretical, given the numerous attractions along the way that might extend your walk.

Arriving by car is not an option due to the car-free zone in Piazza della Signoria. Residents may find parking nearby, while visitors are encouraged to explore on foot. For a seamless visit, book your Palazzo Vecchio tickets in advance and delve into Florence’s rich history, including the intriguing secret passages within the palace.

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