The Piazza della Signoria (Signoria Square) is Florence’s main square. It is located between the Piazza del Duomo and the Arno River.
During the Roman Empire, the square had thermal baths, but these were abandoned at the beginning of the Middle Ages and the square was gradually taken over by artisans.
The Piazza della Signoria in its current form dates back to the thirteenth century. It was paved at the end of the fourteenth century and it has always been treated as the civic and political hub of Florence.
Monuments of the Piazza della Signoria
- Palazzo Vecchio: The most renowned building of the square is the Palazzo Vecchio (Old Palace). At the entrance of the palace, visitors will see two sculptures of Adam and Eve, a replica of Michelangelo’s David and Hercules and Cacus.
- Logia dei Lanzi: This building is also called Loggia della Signoria. It is a small open-air museum with several sculptures like the Kidnapping of the Sabine Women and Perseus with the Head of Medusa located under its porch. It is without a doubt one of the most beautiful places to sit and relax in Florence surrounded by stunning works of art.
- Fountain of Neptune: The Fountain of Neptune was built by the sculptor Bartolomeo Ammannati and his pupils. At first it was not appreciated by the citizens of Florence, however, now it is one of the most beautiful monuments of the piazza.
- Equestrian Monument of Cosimo I: Designed by the sculptor Giambologna in 1594 and commissioned by Cosimo’s son.
Other singular buildings located in the Piazza della Signoria are Palazzo Uguccioni and the Tribunale della Mercanzia (Tribunal of Merchandise), where you can see the shields of the 21 guilds, who held power in Florence during the Middle Ages.
The liveliest square
The Piazza della Signoria is not only the most exquisite square, but it is also the liveliest place in Florence. All year round, and especially on the hottest nights, locals and tourists come together to listen to the street artists, who use this area as their own personal stage.