Day 12 — Medici

  1. Palazzo Vecchio - a beautiful castle built by Arnolfo di Cambio, originally serving the Podesta, an annually elected leader for the Guelphs and Ghibellines, two factions supporting the Pope and Holy Roman Emperor, respectively. It also housed La Signoria during the years of the Republic, where the government consisted of eight to twelve priors and leaders from the gonfaloni, regions of each quarter of Florence, the Gonfaloniere. 
  2. Piazza della Signoria - the great square where the Gucci Museum, Palazzo Vecchio and its tower and diagonally across, the Loggia dei Lanzi, the concession area where public ceremonies would take place. 
  3. Uffizi Museum - only a few blocks away, the Uffizi museum originally, the office for La Signoria when Cosimo I wanted to expand his government headquarters, he hired Giorgio Vasari to build the glorious office space filled with artwork about the Medici dynasty. 
  4. Vasari Corridor - Cosimo I commissioned Vasari to build a secret passageway for his family to travel safely, away from the danger below in the streets. The Medici family, especially himself were targets of many assassination attempts. 
  5. Ponte Vecchio - A bridge originally meant to house meat, fish, and vegetable markets now filled with luxurious jewelry shops owned by local Florentine families. 
  6. Palazzo Pitti - Commissioned by Lucca Pitti to house his wealthy family, switched ownership to the Medici family when Eleonora di Toledo, wife of Cosimo I bought the palace from the bankrupt Pitti Family. As the last Medici family member died, the Habsburg family took residence in Palazzo Pitti during the 1700s.