Piazza della Signoria has been the political center of Florence, Italy for centuries. Today, it is a lively spot with many restaurants, bars and ice cream shops - a must-see on your Italy vacation. In front of Palazzo Vecchio (The Old Palace) one finds a copy of the famous David by Michelangelo, the Marzocco by Donatello and the Neptune Fountain.
The entrance to the Uffizi Gallery is just off the square. In the area covered by the Loggia dei Lanzi there are numerous statues, including Cellini's bronze Perseus. Next to the Neptune Fountain is an equestrian statue of Grand Duke Cosimo I of the Medici.
In the warmer months, visitors can go on a romantic carriage ride through Florence, beginning in Piazza della Signoria. At night, locals and visitors alike follow the promenade along Via dei Calzaiuoli, a lively shopping street that connects Piazza della Signoria with the Duomo of Florence.
The original statue of Michelangelo's David is located in the museum Galleria dell'Accademia, along with Michelangelo's other important works such as the Four Prisoners. The statue of David used to stand in front of Palazzo Vecchio in Florence, but was later moved indoors. A copy of Michelangelo's David is now displayed in front of the palace.
The statue of David portrays the ancient hero who killed the fierce opponent Goliath by using a simple slingshot. Michelangelo sculpted David as he would have looked before the fight, with a slingshot over his left shoulder, standing tall and focused. The statue was completed around 1504 and put on display in front of Palazzo Vecchio.
Seeing Michelangelo's David
The copy of Michelangelo's David in front of Palazzo Vecchio in the Florentine square Piazza Signoria is located outdoors and can be seen 24 hours a day. There is another copy of David in Piazzale Michelangelo in Florence. To see the original statue, you can visit Galleria dell'Accademia in Florence.
Palazzo Vecchio (The Old Palace) is the main complex in Piazza della Signoria. In 1540, Cosimo I of the Medici family converted the palace into the residence of the Dukes of Florence. Major attractions inside Palazzo Vecchio include Room of the Lilies, Elenora di Toledo's Rooms, the inner courtyard with the Putto Fountain, and Michelangelo's statue the Victory.
Palazzo Vecchio is connected with the Pitti Palace through the Vasari corridor which runs through the Uffizi and over Ponte Vecchio to the other side of the river Arno. The corridor was constructed by Vasari after the Medici family moved into the Pitti Palace.
Palazzo Vecchio is open to visitors Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., and Thursday and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. The museum is closed on certain holidays.
If you do not have time to visit Palazzo Vecchio, step into the inner courtyard and take a look at the Putto Fountain and frescoes of old maps.