Palazzo Medici Riccardi, Florence

Palazzo Medici Riccardi, Florence (must see)

This was the first Medici palace, home to Cosimo the Elder and Lorenzo the Magnificent, while also a workplace for many of the top Renaissance artists, including Michelangelo, who was discovered by Lorenzo while still in his teens.

The most imposing palace yet seen in the city at the time, it set a new standard with its three orders of graduated rustication and large, regular two-light windows; the whole exterior is capped by a massive cornice. The building has an elegant square courtyard in the centre, completely different from the palace’s powerful external impression; together, though, they expressed the two different worlds of the Medici: rich, powerful, even ruthless on the outside, refined patrons of the humanist Renaissance inside.

While the courtyard and gardens are free, and lovely to wander around, it is well worth the admission price to enter the rooms upstairs. The designs, decors, style, furniture, and collections reflect the power, influence and wealth of the Medici family.

The Magi Chapel is tiny, painted floor to ceiling in frescoes by Benozzo Gozzoli that are full of beautiful details (costumes, animals, scenery), and one could spend an hour looking at the reputed likeness of various Medici clan members (not to mention figures such as The Wolf of Rimini – Sigismondo Malatesta). The colors – considering the work was started in 1459 – are incredible and make for a visual feast where the composition is a bit of a whirlwind.

Near the end of the tour is the astonishing Galleria, a completely “over-the-top” Baroque gem with gold-covered walls and an opulent domed ceiling painted with scenes of Greek mythology. There is also an underground sculpture museum in the former stables. There are hardly any queues to get in, and you can enjoy the rooms comfortably and at ease.

Tip:
You must queue up for entry into the building in the courtyard, at the foot of the stairs.

Opening Hours:
Daily: 9am-7pm (closed on Wednesdays)

This sight is featured in a self-guided walking tour of Florence, Italy within the mobile app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" which can be downloaded from iTunes App Store or Google Play. Please download the app to your mobile phone or tablet for travel directions for visiting this sight. The app turns your mobile device to a personal tour guide and it works offline, so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.

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Palazzo Medici Riccardi on Map

Sight Name: Palazzo Medici Riccardi
Sight Location: Florence, Italy
Sight Type: Attraction/Landmark
Guide(s) containing this sight: Medici Landmarks   Florence Palaces Walk  

Walking Tours in Florence, Italy

Create Your Own Walk in Florence

Create Your Own Walk in Florence

Creating your own self-guided walk in Florence is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Duomo Walking Tour

Duomo Walking Tour

Duomo quarter is located in the very heart of the Florence Historic Center. This area is deservedly considered the religious and the civic centre of the town. Most of the historic sites Florence is famous for are to be found here. Take this self-guided walk to explore all the masterpieces of the Duomo quarter.

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.8 km
Duomo Souvenir Shopping

Duomo Souvenir Shopping

It would be a pity to leave Florence without having explored its specialty shops and bringing home something truly original. We've compiled a list of shops and markets where you can find something unique to Florence, that you might like to purchase to remember your visit.

Tour Duration: 1 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.7 km
Florence Local Food Walk

Florence Local Food Walk

Food is one of the great Florentine passions, and the great thing about having a delicious authentic meal, a snack, delicatessen, or a quality gelato here is not having to spend a lot of money for it. In general, the “osterias” and the eateries nestled in Sant’Ambrogio Market will offer cheaper and more casual food with an emphasis on home cooking, but there's no shortage of “smart”...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.8 km
Arno South Bank Walking Tour

Arno South Bank Walking Tour

The area south of Arno river, also called Oltrarno ("Beyond the Arno"), is a quieter place but not less interesting. Here you can find the Pitti Palace whose collection of paintings is second only to the Uffizi and the vast Boboli Gardens once enjoyed by the Medici and the royal family. This self guided walk takes you to these and other wonderful places, along the way passing by charming...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.6 km
City Orientation Walking Tour

City Orientation Walking Tour

The city of Florence was founded by Julius Caesar in 59 BC as a settlement for veteran soldiers and, as such, was built in the style of an army camp with the main streets intersecting at the present Piazza della Repubblica. The original name Fluentia was due to the fact that the city was built between two rivers. Later, the name was changed to Florentia which means “flowering” or...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 4.1 km
Dante's Florence Walking Tour

Dante's Florence Walking Tour

Dante Alighieri was arguably the greatest – albeit also most controversial – of Italy's poets. After having served as one of the six priors governing Florence, his political activities, including the banishing of several rivals, led to his own banishment, upon which he wrote his masterpiece, “The Divine Comedy”, as a virtual wanderer, seeking protection for his family in one town...  view more

Tour Duration: 1 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.1 km

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