Piazza della Signoria
An open-air art gallery where you can admire Renaissance masterpieces
Piazza della Signoria is one of the most beautiful squares in Italy, photographed every day by millions of tourists, and venue of the city’s many historical, political and civil events. Here was where the Medici returned to the city after their exile, and where Girolamo Savonarola had sinful objects burned during the Bonfire of the Vanity. In 1498, Savonarola, accused of heresy, was condemned to the stake here, as recalled by the circular marble plaque in front of the fountain of Neptune, the latter sculpted by Bartolomeo Ammannati located in the center of the square.
It hosts the most famous buildings of the city, including Palazzo Vecchio, seat of the Florentine government, one of the most important medieval buildings in Italy. In front of the Palace, there are copies of the Marzocco, the lion symbol of Florence, and Donatello's Judith and Holofernes. Opposite, visitors will find the Loggia della Signoria, an open-air sculptural museum, where you can admire Benvenuto Cellini's Perseus with the Head of Medusa and Giambologna's Abduction of a Sabine Woman sculpted from a single block of marble.
In front of the Loggia, there is a copy of Michelangelo Buonarroti's David (the original is kept in the Accademia Gallery). In the face of such beauty, one might be left breathless!