Palazzo Vecchio (the Old Palace)

The Palazzo Vecchio is a famous and important symbol of Florence and represents a fine example of medieval civil architecture. Visitors to the museum will be able to see the splendid Salone dei Cinquecento, a 54-meter wide and 23-meter long hall constructed by Simone del Pollaiolo in just seven months according to the instructions of Girolamo Savonarola.

A representation hall was used by Cosimo I de Medici in the Palazzo Vecchio to receive ambassadors and the people when he became Duke of Tuscany.

There are also statues that represent the “Fatiche di Ercole” that are arranged along the wall of the Hall. The ceiling of the Hall is constructed in the form of drawers and is covered with paintings celebrating the life of Cosimo I. Vasari frescoes, on the other hand, celebrate Cosimo’s military victories over Pisa and Siena that adorn the walls.

Palazzo Vecchio
Palazzo Vecchio

palazzo vecchio history

What is Palazzo Vecchio

Palazzo Vecchio is one of Florence’s most important symbols. Arnolfo di Cambio built it as Palazzo dei Priori in 1300, and it continues to be the center of power with the Signoria of the Medici. Currently, this incredible building is used by the Florence Municipality.

Although the functions of representation are due to municipal councils who meet in the impressive Hall called “Salone del Dugento” thanks to the Museum of “Monumental Quarters” you can visit most of the buildings that hosted the most famous Florentine people in the cultural and political life.

There are many allegories, symbolisms, and references to the Medici family and Florence’s history in this amazing building, which we highly recommend visiting with a guide. The Italian Renaissance was centered on them, and many masterpieces were commissioned by them.

Furthermore, a guide could show you the secret passages of Palazzo Vecchio and reveal nonpublic corridors and rooms built for some of the Medici family’s illustrious figures.

You may have to wait a long time to enter the Palazzo Vecchio

Palazzo Vecchio’s ticket counter has long queues often. Usually, you have to wait more than two hours. This website allows you to buy tickets online. There is a slight cost difference between these tickets and those without queueing. There are increasing numbers of online tickets with preferential admission for big sights in Italy. In exchange for saving hours of queueing, you pay a little bit more.

The Palazzo Vecchio consists of a number of famous rooms, which you can visit as part of your visit.


With a height of 18 meters and a length of 53 meters, this chamber is an impressive 53 m long and 23 m wide. You will find it in the oldest part of the Palace. Frescoes on the walls were painted by Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo. Both had to paint two battles as symbols of the Republic’s victories: the Battle of Anghiari and the Battle of Cascina. In the legend, such wars are still depicted under the frescoes of the Salone dei Cinquecento, but it isn’t true; Vasari, a great admirer of both, would never have done so. Leonardo was ruined by his choice of technique: encaustic, while Michelangelo left for Rome to construct the Sistine Chapel, leaving only the proofs behind. Vasari represents the battles that we can see today:

  • The conquest of Siena
  • The taking of Porto Ercole
  • Cosimo I’s victory in Marciano della Chiana
  • The defeat of Pisa in San Vincenzo
  • Florence troop’s attacks in Livorno and Pisa

There is a coffered ceiling with paintings dedicated to Cosimo I, which is of significant importance; it even recalls the Michelangelo sculpture, “Genius of Victory.”

Take advantage of the opportunity to visit the Museum of Palazzo Vecchio by booking your visit now.


You can see these rooms on the first floor of Palazzo Vecchio. These Medici family rooms are entirely dedicated to their family, as can be seen in the room names: Leo X, Cosimo the Elder, Lorenzo the Magnificent, Cosimo, Giovanni delle Bande Nere, and Clement VII. The rooms of Leo X and Clement VII are the only ones that can be visited; the rest are used by the Mayor and City Council.


The Medici built a passage ( Vasari passage or Vasari corridor ) linking the two buildings after moving to Palazzo Pitti in 1560. In this corridor designed by Vasari, precious works are displayed while the Arno river crosses over the Ponte Vecchio and Uffizi galleries. This offers a spectacular view of the city.

palazzo Vecchio view

When the weather is pleasant and the sun is shining, you should consider climbing the Tower of Palazzo Vecchio. This tower rises over the roofs of the city with a height of 311.5 feet. You will reach the last crenelated sighting level of the tower after ascending 223 steps, and you will be able to see the splendid panorama of Florence from this viewpoint.

Palazzo Vecchio TOURS AND TICKETS 2023

palazzo vecchio opening hours and ticket price


The Palazzo Vecchio is open between 9 AM and 7 PM Monday through Wednesday and 9 AM to 2 PM on Thursday.


The Palazzo Vecchio’s Tower is open between 9 AM and 5 PM Monday through Wednesday and Friday. 9 AM to 2 PM on Thursday.

The entrance is not accessible to children under six. People under the age of 18 must be accompanied by an adult. Arnolfo’s Tower will be closed to the public if it rains, but the medieval guard walk will be open.

The last entry time is one hour before closing time. Visitor guidelines are available in a PDF format which you can download by clicking here.


Full price: € 12,50
Reduced price: € 10,00 (visitors between 18 and 25 years old)

You will be charged an additional fee of 2€ when purchasing skip-the-line tickets online.

There is more information on the official website of the Palazzo Vecchio Florence if you would like to know more.


What is the best time to visit Palazzo Vecchio?

It is recommended that you visit during the early hours of the morning on weekdays if you can. In general, the best time of year to travel would be in the off-season, between the months of October and April, as the summer can be quite crowded during the summer months.

Is Palazzo Vecchio free on Sunday?

There will be free admission reservations, as part of the “Domenica Metropolitana,” on the first Sundays of the month, from 9.00 am to 7:00 pm, for Metropolitan City of Florence residents. 40 people will be admitted every 15 minutes.

Is Palazzo Vecchio worth seeing?

Although it’s not as famous as the Uffizi Gallery or Galleria dell’Accademia, the Palazzo Vecchio is a favorite place to visit in Florence. The building is the center of Florence’s political life. There is a unique personality in each of the rooms, which reminds us of the beauty of the most famous Venetian palaces.


Opening days and times 2023

Opening hours

Between 9 AM and 7 PM Monday through Wednesday .
Thursday 9 AM to 2 PM .

Ticket prices

Full price: € 12,50
Reduced price: € 10,00 (visitors between 18 and 25 years old)

How to get there

Address: Piazza della Signoria

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