PALAZZO VECCHIO, Second Floor

Audio File length: 3.03
Author: STEFANO ZUFFI E DAVIDE TORTORELLA
English / USA Language: English / USA

After crossing the rooms of the Quartiere di Leone X, or the Leo X Apartments, where you can follow the events of important members of the Medici family through busts, portraits, and frescoes, go on to the apartments on the second floor that were built in the second half of the sixteenth century when the Medici's domain became an authoritarian grand duchy. Although they have lost their original furnishings, these rooms are full of charm and history, especially thanks to the frescoes arranged by Vasari.

The Apartments of the Elements have beautiful, mythological frescoes.

Half way along you can turn to the Terrace of Juno to admire the original Putto with the Dolphin, the vivid bronze made by Verrocchio for the courtyard fountain.

From a breathtaking narrow balcony, you can take in the equally breathtaking sight of the Salone dei Cinquecento. From here, go to the Quartiere di Eleonora, which was the private residence of Eleonora da Toledo, the wife of Cosimo I. I especially recommend visiting the beautiful chapel frescoed by Bronzino in the first half of the sixteenth century, which is divided into four sectors with fascinating effects of light and color.

The slightly older Cappella dei Priori, or Prior Chapel, brings you to the 15th and 16th-century halls that date back to before Vasari's renovations. Don't miss the gorgeous sculpted marble portals between the two, nor the wooden ceilings of the Sala dell'Udienza, or Hall of Justice, and the magnificent Hall of Lilies frescoed by Ghirlandaio. Here you can admire the bronze original of a statue you saw the copy of in front of the Palace: it's Judith and Holofernes, a Donatello masterpiece from when he was in full bloom. The beautiful and intelligent biblical heroine who conquers and defeats the barbaric and colossal aggressor is the symbol of small Florence, which was weak but apparently ready to face any enemy.

As we are reminded by the names of Amerigo Vespucci and Giovanni da Verrazzano, the Florentines were great explorers of new lands: the Hall of Geographical Maps has 53 maps and a large globe.

 

FUN FACT: if you go to the Hall of Hercules, you can see a Madonna with Child and St. John by an unknown artist that's famous for a reason that has nothing to do with artistic merit; in fact, the painting is called Madonna dell'UFO thanks to an unidentified flying object that you can see in the sky in the background. All those who believe in UFOs can use this as proof that the inhabitants of other galaxies have always visited us!

And with this we have finished our tour of Palazzo Vecchio in Florence. MyWoWo thanks you for staying with us, and will see you at the next Wonder of the World!

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