Città metropolitana, English

Discovering Palazzo Medici Riccardi

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mercoledì 27 settembre 2017

A walk through the treasures, the history and the timeless charm of one of the most symbolic buildings in Florence, which today is the seat of the Metropolitan City of Florence

Palazzo Medici Riccardi is one of the most iconic buildings in Florence. Conveniently located within a short walk of Florence’s railway station, the palace is in the cultural and touristic heart of the city, close to the Duomo and the Churches of San Lorenzo and San Marco.

The palace is distinctive both for its majestic architecture and its prestigious artistic heritage, which includes the famous “Journey of the Magi” by Renaissance master Benozzo Gozzoli. Visitors are offered a rich cultural experience through a comprehensive museum itinerary.

Palazzo Medici, which today is the seat of the Metropolitan City of Florence, was commissioned by Cosimo “the Elder” of the Medici family to architect Michelozzo di Bartolomeo, in the middle of the 15th century. The Riccardi family bought the palace in 1659 and gave its interiors a baroque style.

Let’s have a look at the main attractions in the museum itinerary of the palace. Starting from the main entrance, on via Cavour, the tour opens on to the splendid courtyard designed by Michelozzo. The courtyard is one of the finest examples of Renaissance architecture in Florence.

An elegant Seventeenth century staircase leads to the real gem of the palace: the Fifteenth century Chapel of the Magi, frescoed by Benozzo Gozzoli. The Renaissance master painted the solemn “Journey of the Magi” to Bethlehem over three walls.The large frescos are dense with fascinating symbolism and rare beauty.

One of the highlights of the palace is the Galleria di Luca Giordano, known as the Hall of Mirrors. The walls of the sumptuous 17th century gallery are adorned with mirrors and gilded stucco. The full length of the ceiling is decorated with frescoes, depicting the “Apotheosis of the Medici” dynasty. The frescoes are painted by the most celebrated representative of the Neapolitan Baroque, Luca Giordano, who worked in Florence in the second half of the 17th century.
One other important artwork displayed at Palazzo Medici is the 15th century “Madonna and her Child” by Filippo Lippi.

The tour of the palace walks through the Room of the Four Seasons, decorated with 17th-century Florentine tapestries representing autumn, winter, spring, and summer

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The visit to Palazzo Medici Riccardi includes the beautifully decorated Biblioteca Moreniana and Riccardiana, via an entrance on Via Ginori. The Giardino, known as Lemon garden, is distinctive for its rational design and artistic elements typical of the 15th century. The Lemon garden leads to the entrance of the Marble Museum.

In addition to the permanent museum itinerary, Palazzo Medici hosts other temporary exhibitions dedicated to contemporary art.

Palazzo Medici Riccardi is open every day — except Wednesday – from 8.30 to 19:00. The entry price per person is 7 euros. 


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