Florence Hotel Golf · Ponte VecchioIf you'd like to see a number of sights all in one place, a visit to Piazza della Signoria in Florence's historical center is the place to go.
The piazza gets its name from the building that dominates it now and dominated it at the time it was built, Palazzo Signoria, named after the Lords (signorie) who ruled Florence.
Since then the Palazzo Signoria has taken on other names until arriving at its present name of Palazzo Vecchio.
This exquisite L-shaped Piazza, so being because of the houses that were leveled to complete the square, contains a collection of both buildings and art all within a stone's throw of one another.
Palazzo Vecchio dates back to 1299 with the work of Arnolfo di Cambio but saw other buildings stages throughout the 3 centuries that followed.
Next to Palazzo Vecchio is the Loggia dei Lonzi which contains a gallery and numerous art pieces like the statue of Perseus With the Head of Medusa by Benvenuto Cellini.
Other sights in Piazza Signoria to admire include the Loggia della Signoria, the Uffizi Gallery, the Palace of the Tribunale della Mercanzia, dating back to 1359, and the 16th century Uguccioni Palace.
Another interesting work of architecture can be seen in the Renaissance style Palace of the Assicurazioni Generali (General Insurance) built in 1871.
Besides the buildings found here there are a number of statues to be admired, the most famous being the David by Michelangelo. The statue in the piazza is a copy because the original has been moved to the Gallery of the Academy of Fine Arts for security purposes. Another amazing statue is the "bronze equestrian statue of Cosimo I" done by Giambologna in 1594.
The Fountain of Neptune, was done by Bartolomeo Ammannati between 1563-1565 on the block of marble and a model originally designed by Baccio Bandinelli, for the occasion of the wedding of Francesco I de' Medici with the grand duchess Johanna of Austria in 1565. The statue saw its share of change over the years, which included damaging by bombardments and vandalism as recent as august of 2005 when one of Neptune's hands and his trident were damaged. Like the David, the statue of Neptune you see in Piazza Signoria now is a copy while the original sits in the National Museum of Florence for security reasons.
Piazza della Signoria is surley a focal point for both locals and tourists alike.
Other of the origin and of the history of the Florentine Republic and still maintains its reputation as the political hub of the city. It is the meeting place of Florentines as well as the numerous tourists.