A history of documents and battles

The city of Florence welcomes you! In this visit we will take you to rediscover and make public the mechanisms underlying the working of the Chancery of Florence and the role of Machiavelli within the political life of the Florentine Republic. Machiavelli was not only a philosopher and founder of modern political science, but also a key politician and diplomat interested in the "experience of modern affairs"
To "Niccolò Machiavelli and the Chancery of Florence" is dedicated an artbook, that is easily downloadable and organized into the same sections of this tour: history, itinerary, further insights, information. The artbook will give you more detailed information about Machiavelli's political career and about the political and administrative events of the period, so that all your curiosities about will be satisfied!

The work of Niccolò Machiavelli, with its fundamental contribution to the political thinking of the Renaissance, was the fruit of two different factors, which he himself noted in the prologue to The Prince: "...a long experience of modern affairs and a continuous lesson from ancient ones". On this awareness the itinerary below is based, aiming to capture the original nature of the figure of Machiavelli through the political appointments held by him in Florence. The beginning of the story dates from 1498, when the young Machiavelli became "second chancellor" and entered one of the most illustrious institutions, the Chancery, the office responsible for foreign affairs where decades earlier the great masters of humanist culture had worked. His career, however, was exceptional. Though lacking the legal training up till then considered as essential, within a very short space of time the Secretary accumulated a series of increasingly important responsibilities: secretary to the Dieci di Balia, secretary to the Nove della Milizia, responsible for drawing up reports on political discussions, the Consulte e Pratiche, etc. This ever more markedly political slant had a new development in 1502, when Pier Soderini was nominated Gonfaloniere of Justice with a life tenure. With Soderini, Machiavelli established a close, collaborative relationship and acquired a key political position within the institutions. The privileged role of Machiavelli within the regime is confirmed by his having conceived a plan of military reform known as the Ordinanza della Milizia (Reform of the Militia). Machiavelli drew upon his knowledge and thoughts of contemporary politics throughout his work and some of his most important writings were the theoretical continuation of projects begun as Secretary.


In this itinerary you will be guided wisely through some instruments at your disposal. Use the map for seeing the way and the numbered places that you will meet - clicking on the single numbers you will see a short description. Clicking on the gallery sign you can see in high resolution all images not only of the places and works of the itinerary dedicated to the "Niccolò Machiavelli and the Chancery of Florence", but also of not visible contemporary documents, manuscript and works, described in the artbook. We suggest you to download it, so that you can get ready to the walk or you can take it always with you throughout the itinerary. Click on the picture and see the details concerning the places and works about Machiavelli's political career, the Chancery of Florence and the characters involved in the political life of fifteenth-century Florence, that you can see through the town centre.

View Artist - Niccolò Macchiavelli in a bigger size map

This section, that anticipates or follows your itinerary, contains more detailed and in-depth information and descriptions of the role of Machiavelli in the political life and within the Chancery, of events that marked the town's history in the second half of the fifteenth century and of workings and key figures of the Chancery of the Republic. You can find further insights about the places, the works of art and the documents related to the town's history in the dedicated artbook, that allows you to know the details not only of the historical events, but also of the political and cultural behind-the scenes-activities. You can know the working of the Chancery of Florence and the influence of the Humanism and classical ideals on the protagonists of the polical and administrative life of the period; you can retrace the main "steps" of the political career of Machiavelli – such as the second Chancellor, secretary to Nove, ambassador to the king of France and Duke Valentino, etc. –; you can know the instruments of the political communication and the crucial moments in the Republic between fifteenth and sixteenth century – Savonarola' preaching, the institution of Pier Soderini's office of Gonfaloniere for life, etc. We suggest you to download the artbook "Niccolò Machiavelli and the Chancery of Florence", so that you can get ready to the walk. This tour leads you through buildings, works and documents that allows you to retrace those crucial moments that marked the town's history. The artbook, that is easily downloadable, is organized into the the same sections of this tour: history, itinerary, further insights, information. Download the artbbok and visit the gallery, where you can see the high resolution pictures not only of the places and works of this itinerary dedicated to Niccolò Machiavelli and the Chancery of Florence, but also of not-visible documents and works described in the artbook.


In this section you find all the information needed to organize your perfect visit to the places and works connected with Machiavelli and with the famous figures of fifteenth-century Florence and of the political life of the Florentine Republic and their iconography. With a simple click you can see information about opening and closing days and times.

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