Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Italy Blog #38: Florence: Palazzo Vecchio

Front entrance with David and Hercules Statues
In today's blog, #38 of our Italy trip, we'll take you to the Palazzo Vecchio in Florence. It's the town hall of  Florence since medieval times.

HOW OLD IS IT? Construction began in 1299 and it was completed in the 1300s.
Palazzo Vecchio
WHAT IS UNDERNEATH IT? The entire construction also rests on top of the ancient theater of the Roman colony of Florentia (dating back to the first century A.D.), whose ruins can be admired in the underground level.

WHERE IS IT?: It's in the "Piazza (Plaza) della Signore"  just north of the Arno River. It's next to the Museum Gucci and Uffizi Gallery. Earlier we showed you some of the statues that were outside of Palazzo Vecchio, which included our favorites.

The Hall of 500
WHAT WAS IT BUILT FOR? It was build for the Grand Duke of Florence, Cosmo de Medici.The main section of Palazzo Vecchio was destined to host the city council which was composed of chief members the Guilds of Florence (the Priori) who governed the Republic of Florence. Around 1540, Duke Cosimo I de’ Medici and his wife Eleonora of Toledo decided to turn the palace into their residence.

WHAT IS IN IT NOW? There are a number of masterpieces in this building including some by Michelangelo and Vasari. , There are also frescoed walls and ceilings throughout. There are about 1,450 tapestries. One Room on the 3rd floor ceiling has the story of Hercules.
Hall of Maps

WHAT IS THE "HALL OF 500"? - The Salone dei Cinquecento (Hall of the Five Hundred) was built from 1494 during the Republic of Fra’ (friar) Girolamo Savonarola. The Hall is the largest and most important room in terms of artistic and historical value inside the palace. This impressive hall has a length of 54 meters, a width of 23 and a height of 18 meters. Paneled ceilings and large wall frescoes, golden decorations and imposing sculptures

The Studiolo that belonged to Francesco I
HALL OF MAPS - this is a large room where the most relevant documents were kept together with the Mappa Mundi, a six-foot-tall sphere which had been the largest rotating globe of its era, and dozens of geographic maps painted on leather, showing the world as it was known in 1563.
Tom and Rob at the top of the building

WORKS OF FAMOUS ARTISTS - I  All the rooms (the so-called Quartieri Monumentali) are magnificently decorated by artists such as Michelangelo, Giorgio Vasari and Donatello.

NEXT: Italy's U.S. World War 2 Memorial and Cemetery

Gift/Memorial Suggestions

Several of our friends have lost loved ones (human and pets) and we found that one of the best ways to honor their memory is to give to an animal charity.
What better way to recognize a life of love, than by giving another life a chance for love?
We donate to many animal rescues, but because we volunteer with
DC Weimaraner Rescue and Coast-to-Coast Dachshund Rescue, those are our 2 favorites.
Consider giving the chance of life to a dog or cat.

About us

We're two married guys who enjoy the simple things in life, especially our dogs. We volunteer for dog rescues, enjoy splitting dinners, exercising, blogging, helping friends and neighbors, ghost investigations, coffee and tea, Tudor history, weather, superheroes, comic books, mystery novels, traveling, 70s and 80s music, classic country, piano, gardening, writing books on ghosts and spirits, architecture, keeping a clean house, cooking simply, and keeping in shape. You'll find tidbits of all of these things on this blog and more.

Tom and Rob Thinking Hard!

Tom and Rob Thinking Hard!
Wondering what home project to do next