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Palazzo Vecchio is one of Florence's premier museums, where you can explore many different layers of Italian history since Roman times.
Although only accessible from underground - the Palazzo was built directly on top of it - the ruins of a Roman theater testify to this building's age.
At 95 meters tall, this tower is the definitive symbol of Florence and absolutely the best place to take your pictures of the city's charming buildings.
There's more to the fortress than the Tower. Construction of the fortress began in 1299 under Arnolfo di Cambio. Today its battlements and sturdy stone structure symbolize political potence from times gone by.
This was built as the grandest room - originally intended to serve as the seat of the Great Council. Now it serves as the centerpiece for anyone's visit.
The maze of chambers with artwork and decorated ceilings by Michelangelo, among other prominent Renaissance artists, is not to be missed - you won't have seen anything like it quite on this scale!
If rain is in the forecast, access to the Tower of Palazzo Vecchio will be suspended for safety reasons.
Winter opening times for the tower are limited compared to summer (or high season), so if you're visiting between October and March, make sure to get there early in the day.
The way to the top of the tower is 418 steps, so don't attempt to climb if it may put your health at risk - there is no elevator.
On sunny days - and even when the sun's behind a cloud! - it's important to cover up with sunscreen. And even more so because you're nearly 100 meters closer to the sun!
- When to visitOpen October - March, 9:00AM to 7:00PM. April - September, 9:00AM to 11:00PM. Special opening hours on Thursdays from 9:00AM to 2:00PM.
- What is the price?Museum admission: 10euros. Tower and Battlements: 10euros. Discount available for students.
- Will I need a guide?Free to explore on your own or find a guided tour and receive insight into the many layers of history present.
- How to get thereLocated in the center of Florence at the Piazza della Signoria.
- Additional tips
- As a top sight for Florence, be prepared for a bit of a wait to get in. If you get the Firenze card, you can skip the lines and get to the front.
- The steps outside the museum serve for a perfect spot to rest before or after your visit and take in prime Florence people watching and occassional street performances in the Piazza.
What People Are Saying About Palazzo Vecchio
Suzanna was a brilliant host full of enthusiasm for Florence, it's history, it's people and it's food and drink. She was a brilliant guide and also gave us spot on tips for seeing the sights as well as wonderful eateries to try.
Our guide explained the history of the City to us while pointing out magical places.
We had a thoroughly enjoyable, extremely interesting and very informative tour through Palazzo Vecchio with our enthusiastic and knowledgeable guide Fabrizio. We were a mixed family group of three generations - parents, grandparents and children and we all enjoyed the tour equally. Our guide gave us a fantastic introduction to the history of Florence during the middle ages and Renaissance and shared with us his enthusiasm for history and art - we would thoroughly recommend this tour to anyone who wants to have an enjoyable and informative morning in Florence.
Really enjoyed our walking tour. Three hours flew by. Sylvia, our guide, explained art in Uffizi gallery so thoroughly.
Recommend you do this on first day of your holiday to get your bearings. 1.5 hours just right then you can explore places in more detail.