Palazzo Vecchio: Tours & Tickets
5 Architectural and Historical Features of Palazzo Vecchio
Palazzo Vecchio is one of Florence's premier museums, where you can explore many different layers of Italian history since Roman times.
1. Roman ruins
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.
2. Tower of Palazzo Vecchio
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.
3. Medieval Fortress
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.
4. Salone dei Cinquecento
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.
5. Renaissance chambers
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!
Planning Your Visit
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.
Don't overdo it
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!
Good to know
- When should I visit?
- Open 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.
- Is it expensive?
- 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 there
- Located in the center of Florence at the Piazza della Signoria.
- Additional information
- 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
Booked on the spur of the moment whilst having a drink in Florence, about an hour before it started, we turned up to the meeting place a few minutes from central Florence and was greated by Leonardo, who is truely fantastic, he was funny and knowledgable and made the trip extra special for for daughter, keeping her entertained and laughing throughout, the tour takes you on a great route around the city, which you would never get to see on foot, with plenty of time to stop, look around the main city attractions without feeling rushed, we were dropped off at a place of our choice at the end. Great experiance and would highly recommend, just make sure you ask for Leonardo
We had a great guide who gave us a lot of information about the history of the palace and of Venice since the palace was erected. He was especially well educated in art history and pointed us to the most interesting spots. We would have missed many of them without his help. Besides the statues and paintings, we were most impressed with the building itself and its history in connecdtion with the history of the city. We were truly impressed to see for the first time the original painting of Machiavelli which is so well known from the title cover of his most famous book. We were very grateful for the competent guide.
An incredibly interesting and informative tour about many of the most famous places, buildings, statues and more around Florence. Our guide Giulio was very knowledgeable about everything we walked past and its history. We highly recommend this tour as it will give you a lot of insight into things you would not think about if you just walked past it by yourself.
the tour was excellent and our guide francesca was amazing! she was clear and detailed and even brought along her iPad to aid in her explanations. the pace was good especially when the were young children in tow. and it's stroller accessible too! highly recommended tour for families with children.
Easy to book and easy to find the meeting point. Our guide Leonardo was a character and very friendly. We could have walked to all the places we saw but it was so much easier being driven! Just beware - the road quality is awful so it’s a bumpy ride! Well worth booking.