Also known as the Palazzo della Signoria, the Palazzo Vecchio is one of the most incredible palaces in Italy! The Palazzo Vecchio was the main seat of civil power in Florence, Italy. From 1865 to 1871, the Palazzo served as the Chamber of Deputies of the Kingdom of Italy, and since1872, the Palazzo Vecchio has served as the town hall in Florence, Italy.
If extravagant art and glorious sculptures are what floats your boat, take a guided tour of the Palazzo Vecchio and prepare to be stunned by the grandeur and wealth of the House of Medici in Florence, Italy!
Advantages of a Palazzo Vecchio Tour
Here are some of the benefits you will enjoy on your Palazzo Vecchio guided tour!
No Waiting in Line
With your Palazzo Vecchio tour tickets, you will enjoy a hassle-free visit to the Palazzo Vecchio. Your tickets guarantee you priority entrance into the Palazzo Vecchio which lets you skip the waiting lines at the entrance and jumpstart your guided tour. Not only will you be able to breeze through the entrance at the Palazzo Vecchio, but you will also be able to spend more time exploring the Palazzo.
Your Palazzo Vecchio guided tour is bound to be a great learning experience for you-courtesy of your very own expert guide! A knowledgeable guide who is well-versed in English and knows the history of the grand Palazzo Vecchio will accompany you throughout your tour. With your expert guide, you will get the opportunity to explore everything there is to explore on your Palazzo Vecchio tour.
If you love to explore historical palaces and museums on your own, you can even take yourself on a self-guided Palazzo Vecchio tour. You just need the audio guide and a pair of earphones, and you are all set for your self-guided Palazzo Vecchio tour! If you want to learn more about the things you see on your Palazzo Vecchio tour, simply read the inscriptions and booklets displayed in front of each of the exhibits at the Palazzo.
You are bound to find some secret routes and passages connecting important buildings, anywhere you go in Italy. The Palazzo Vecchio is no different! Explore the secret routes among the chambers of the Palazzo Vecchio on your guided tour. Make it a point to browse through the private studio of Francesco I de Medici, also known as the Grand Duke of Tuscany, on your Palazzo Vecchio guided tour as well!
The Best Palazzo Vecchio Guided Tours
Combo Guided Tours
A Guide to Palazzo Vecchio: The Medieval Palace of Florence
Choosing the Best Palazzo Vecchio Guided Tour
Confused about which Palazzo Vecchio guided tour to book? Have a look at these tour options.
1Skip the Line Guided Tour
With your skip-the-line guided tour tickets, you will get priority entrance into the Palazzo Vecchio. Your expert guide will take you on a tour of all the different floors and chambers in the Palazzo Vecchio. Be it the personal collection of the House of Medici or the Salone dei Cinquecento, these tour tickets let you explore all the treasures hidden in the Palazzo Vecchio!
2Skip the Line Self-Guided Tour
Armed with your audio guide and a pair of earphones, these Palazzo Vecchio tickets give you priority entry into the Palazzo and the freedom to explore all the different places, halls, and chambers in the Palazzo Vecchio. Sculptures, hand-painted artworks, and hand-painted maps-explore all this and more on a self-guided tour of the Palazzo Vecchio!
Palazzo Vecchio Tours Deconstructed - A Typical Guided Tour Experience
Roman ruins, a medieval fortress, Renaissance chambers, and paintings-the Palazzo Vecchio has all this and more! Designed by Arnolfo Di Cambio, the Tuscan Gothic Design of the Palazzo Vecchio is bound to take your breath away! Here are some of the best places you should visit on your guided tour of the most important government building of Medieval Italy!
The courtyard of the Palazzo Vecchio was built in the first half of the 14th century and was modified by Michelozzo in the 15th century. A fountain designed by Vasari replaced the old well of the Palazzo Vecchio. The crowning glory of this fountain is a stunning copy of the oldest bronze statue of Putto with Dolphin, which was created by Andrea del Verrocchio.
Salone dei Cinquecento
Built-in 1495 by Simone del Pollaiolo and Francesca Domenico, the Salone di Cinquecento occupies the first floor of the Palazzo Vecchio and is the largest room in Italy made for a civil power palace. Renowned painters Leonardo Da Vinci and Michelangelo Buonarroti were asked to create two large murals, depicting the battles celebrating the victories of the Republic, on the walls of the Salone. Unfortunately, both these artists were unable to finish their work. After becoming the boardroom of Duke Cosimo I de Medici, Giorgio Vasari painted six battle scenes in the Salone.
Studiolo of Francesca I
The Studiolo of Francesca I is a small, secret room that is connected to the Salone dei Cinquecento or the ‘Hall of Five Hundred’. This room was the place where prince Francesca I could indulge his passion for alchemy. The studio is decorated with paintings and frescoes that depict the different elements of alchemy. In fact, the ‘Nature Presenting Prometheus with Spectacular Gems’ occupies the center of this room. The four elements, their qualities, the four temperaments of man, and the four seasons have all been painted inside the room.
Hall of Geographical Maps
The Hall of Geographical Maps is located on the second floor of the Palazzo Vecchio. The room was created by Giorgio Vasari between 1561 and 1565 on the order of Duke Cosimo. This ambitious project was partially finished and contains only one out of the projected two globes. The ‘Mappa Mundi,’ created by Stefano Buonsignori and Egnazio Dutti, occupies the centre of the room. However, the promised fifty-three geographical maps were hand painted in this hall.
Private Rooms of Medici
The second floor of the Palazzo Vecchio is home to the Apartment of Elements, the Apartments of Eleanor Toledo, and the Hall of Priors. In addition to these private rooms, the floor also has small chambers and chapels. The two most important rooms here are the private study of Duchess Bianca Cappello, the former mistress and second wife of Francesca I, and the Hall of Geographical Maps.
The Arnolfo Tower
The Arnolfo Towers gets its name from Arnolfo Di Cambio-the architect of the Palazza Vecchio. A staggering 95 meters in height, the Arnolfo Tower has two bell chambers, a big weathervane, and a little prison cell named the Alberghetto. 233 steps lead to the top of the tower and the clock of the Arnolfo Tower still has the same 1667 mechanism.
Are Palazzo Vecchio Tours Really Worth It?
Yes! Palazzo Vecchio tours are definitely worth it! With your Palazzo Vecchio tickets, you can easily skip the waiting lines and get priority entry into the Palazzo on the day of your visit. You also have the option to choose between a guided and a self-guided Palazzo Vecchio tour. For the guided tour, an expert guide will accompany you as you explore the Palazzo whereas, for the self-guided tour, you just need an audio guide and a pair of earphones to explore the Palazzo Vecchio.
Palazzo Vecchio Practical Information
The Palazzo Vecchio is open all year round from 9am to 7pm. On Thursdays, the Palazzo is open from 9am to 2pm only.
Palazzo Vecchio remains closed on Christmas day but is open on all other days of the year.
Getting to Palazzo Vecchio
- By Bus: Bus routes C1, C2, and D all stop at the Piazza Della Signoria, which is a 1-minute walk away from the Palazzo Vecchio.
- By Car: Simply type ‘Piazza Della Signoria’ into Google maps, and you’ll easily reach the Palazzo Vecchio.
- By Subway: Unita is the closest subway station to the Palazzo. It is a 15-minute walk from the station to the Palazzo Vecchio.
These tips will surely come in handy on your Palazzo Vecchio guided tour!
- Avoid visiting Palazzo Vecchio on the weekends since it is extremely crowded.
- Read up on the Medici Empire before your guided tour of the Palazzo Vecchio.
- Wear comfortable clothes and footwear for your Palazzo Vecchio tour.
- Book your Palazzo Vecchio tickets in advance to enjoy priority entry on the day of your visit.
- Book your audio guide in advance and carry a pair of earphones as well.
- Read all the material mentioned in front of the exhibits at the Palazzo Vecchio for a fun and educational visit.
On your Palazzo Vecchio guided tour, you will visit some must-see attractions such as the Courtyards, Salone dei Cinquecento, Studiolo of Francesca I, The Hall of Geographical Maps, the Private Rooms of the Medici family, and the Arnolfo Tower.
We recommend that you book your Palazzo Vecchio guided tour tickets well in advance. Booking your tour tickets in advance will help you plan your trip to the Palazzo Vecchio accordingly. Advance tickets also give your priority entry to the Palazzo on the day of your visit.
The Palazzo Vecchio remains closed on Christmas day but is open on all other days of the year.
The best way to get to the Palazzo Vecchio is by using the public transportation system. The closest bus station to the Palazzo is Piazza Della Signoria and the closest subway station to the Palazzo is Unita.
If you have booked Palazzo Vecchio tickets for the self-guided tour, you can choose from an English, Spanish, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Russian, and Chinese audio guide.
Ready to head to Palazzo Vecchio ?
Fancy heading out to some other stunning Florence attractions? Take inspiration from our list of the best things to do in Florence here.