When you think about the skyline of Florence, the impressive dome of the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore first comes to mind. The masterpiece of the Italian Renissance, a master of architecture and engineering by Brunelleschi. The magnificent dome is not the only thing to rise above the homes in Florence, so to does the bell tower on the Palazzo Vecchio.
The main entrance is facing Piazza della Signoria. I spent many a night sitting in the shadow of the bell tower talking with my friends and drinking wine. We sat in the shadow of history, the Palazzo Vecchio is the symbol of civic power in Florence. This is both a museum and an archaeological site with Roman ruins in the basement. I didn’t have time to take the full tour of the museum because there are dozens of the things to do and see in Florence however, I was able to go into the main entrance area. The ceiling and columns alone are worth looking at.
In the mid 1500’s the Medici family turned the Palazza Vecchio into a private residence with its own secret passages. Florence allows a traveler to step back in time but the Palazza Vecchio allows one to go farther back to Roman times. Make sure to buy your tickets before hand and get there early, before the crowds. And make sure to see the building at night – it is worth a visit.
Travel safe and explore everything you can.