Piazza della Signoria, Florence

Piazza della Signoria, Florence (must see)

Alongside Piazza del Duomo, the religious heart of Florence, Piazza della Signoria is another key center of attraction in the city – its civil center, presided over by the imposing fortified palace, known as Palazzo Vecchio. Boasting the finest collection of outdoor statues, this square is the birthplace of the Florentine Republic and, as such, is held dear by the locals as an epicenter of the city's social life. The entire area seemingly transcends time and you can easily imagine Michelangelo's “David” standing here, in its original location, now replaced by a replica.

The piazza has enjoyed central location in the city since the Roman times when it was just as small town of Florentia, with a square surrounded by a theater, a complex of baths and a textile workshop. Later, there were a church, a loggia and an enormous 5th-century basilica added, as revealed by the excavations performed in the 1980s beneath the square during its re-pavement.

The asymmetrical shape of the square, complete with the numerous artworks found within – both large and small, add to its appeal, particularly among the photographers, who flock here in numbers, snapping away frantically in a bid to capture it from every possible angle. Even devoid of camera, standing right in the middle of the square, looking around 360 degrees, is a captivating experience as such.

The imposing seat of the municipal government, Palazzo Vecchio crowns the city skyline and, to one side, just a stone's throw away, is neighbored by an equally impressive Loggia dei Lanzi. An outdoor museum of sorts, it is almost always open to the public and free to access, holding yet another fine collection of statues, including the famous “Rape of Sabine Women”, “Hercules and the Centaur”, and a bronze “Perseus” cleverly positioned so as to be seemingly stared at by the statue of David.

There are a few places to sit here, some out of the sun, but be sure to pace yourself and have plenty of water, if visiting in high summer. Working your way through the crowd can be a challenge but don't always try to walk directly towards your target as you'll invariably keep meeting people doing the same in the opposite direction. It'd be much easier to move a bit like a yacht tacking into the wind – a bit diagonally to the right, a bit more to the left and so on, sidling into the gaps as they appear. Easy-peasy...

Why You Should Visit:
One of the two most important centers of attractions in Florence, along with the Piazza del Duomo.
It might just host the finest collection of outdoor statues in the world and is surrounded by beautifully decorated buildings along with many "very good" to "world-class" museums.

Want to visit this sight? Check out these Self-Guided Walking Tours in Florence. Alternatively, you can download the mobile app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" from iTunes App Store or Google Play. 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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Piazza della Signoria on Map

Sight Name: Piazza della Signoria
Sight Location: Florence, Italy (See walking tours in Florence)
Sight Type: Attraction/Landmark
Guide(s) Containing This Sight:

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.
Michelangelo's Masterpieces Walking Tour

Michelangelo's Masterpieces Walking Tour

Michelangelo spent over 20 years of his life in Florence – the birthplace of the Renaissance – during which time he created some of the most beautiful masterpieces the city had ever seen. The most famous of them – the David – was larger than life, and brought a larger-than-life image to the artist. No amount of photos or copies of the statue will do it justice, so to see it with your own...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 4.0 Km or 2.5 Miles
Medici Landmarks Walking Tour

Medici Landmarks Walking Tour

The Medici family helped to establish Florence as the single most important art capital of Renaissance Europe. In order to prove wealth and power, they built numerous palaces, libraries, churches, chapels and personal residences. The Medicis were big lovers of art and they acquired huge, expensive collections, as well as supporting many sculptors and painters of the time.

Designed by...  view more

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.7 Km or 1.7 Miles
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. On this self-guided tour, we've compiled a list of shops and markets where you can find something unique to remember your Florentine visit.

Start at Central Market, which is not only a fun and colorful place to visit, but also the best place to stop for a meal....  view more

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.4 Km or 0.9 Miles
Florence Palaces Walking Tour

Florence Palaces Walking Tour

Toward the end of the 13th century, Florentine families who had acquired power – both financial, through banking and trade, and political – began to build sizeable new palaces for themselves. The construction of the Palazzo del Popolo (now housing the Bargello Museum) acted as an important catalyst in this process, having opened the translation into the private sphere.

Early 14th century...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.9 Km or 1.8 Miles
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. One of the first and most important examples of "Italian Gardens", they later served as...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.6 Km or 1.6 Miles
Florence Food Tour

Florence Food Tour

Food is one of the great Florentine passions, and the great thing about having a delicious authentic Tuscan meal, a snack, delicatessen, or a quality gelato here – besides the abundant variety – 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...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.8 Km or 2.4 Miles

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Souvenir Shopping Guide: 16 Unique Products to Buy in Florence

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