There is a mandatory spot to visit between Piazza del Duomo and Ponte Vecchio: Piazza della Signoria. Here you’ll find the amazing Palazzo Vecchio (Old Palace), some Renaissance sculptures like the David from Michelangelo (but this one here is just a copy), the Fountain of Neptune and the rear façade of Uffizi Gallery.
There’s no need to specifically plan a visit to Piazza della Signoria. Sooner or later you’ll find it if you’re walking in the historical center.
Palazzo Vecchio is what stands out most in the square. Its architecture is quite different to the rest of buildings in the city, and the 94 meter high tower makes it another landmark of Florence.
It was built in the early XV century as a residence and work place for the officials of the Republic. It was called Old Palace when the court moved to the “new” Palazzo Pitti.
On the right of the entrance you can see the statue of Hercules and Cacus, and on the left side there is a replica of the famous David from Michelangelo (the original one is in the Academy Gallery).
You can make a visit inside the palace. There is a free access area and another which holds the Palazzo Vecchio Museum, where you can see works from Michelangelo, Vasari, Bronzino… If you have plans to visit the Uffizi and Academy galleries maybe you can miss this museum. However if you visit it anyway you’ll surely enjoy the Cinquecento Hall, the highest hall in Florence (54 m. long, 22 m. wide and 17 m. high).
If we go back to Piazza della Signoria, we’ll find the rear side of the Uffizi Gallery building, which holds another open air museum: Loggia dei Lanzi. It’s located under some porches and there you’ll find different sculptures like The Rape of the Sabine Women or Perseus with the Head of Medusa.
GPS coordinates: 43.769724, 11.255439
PALAZZO VECCHIO (museum)
– from 1 April to 30 September: Thursday from 9 to 14 h, rest of the days from 9 to 0 h.
– from 1 October to 31 March: Thursday from 9 to 14 h, rest of the days from 9 to 19 h.
– Piazza della Signoria
– Museo di Palazzo Vecchio