Explore the historic home of Florentine politics
Talk of the town: In Sala di Ercole (The Hercules Room) look out for the Jacopo del Sellaio painting ‘Madonna and Child’ - possibly the earliest representation of a UFO.
Florence’s spectacular city hall Palazzo Vecchio has been an imposing presence in the city centre for more than seven centuries. The Romanesque fortress has been home to city magistrates, the Medici dynasty and even the United Italian Government (when Florence was made temporary capital in the 1860s), and now houses the office of the city’s mayor. Most importantly, the whole palace is now open to eager culture vultures.
Once you’ve enjoyed the aesthetic exterior, like the crenellated facade, the lofty clock tower and the replica of Michelangelo’s ‘David’ at the entrance, head inside for an intimate look at local politics down the ages. There are many things to discover - from intricately-decorated chambers to beautifully-conceived courtyards - but the best of all has to be the Salone dei Cinquecento: a gorgeous room with artworks by Michelangelo, Vasari, Agresti and others.