ART AND HISTORIC SHOPS. PIAZZA SIGNORIA AND SURROUNDINGS
In this visit we will take you through the Historic Centre, walking in the political and business heart of the city, in some of the most beautiful squares of Florence, from piazza della Repubblica to piazza della Signoria.
An artbook, that is easily downloadable, is dedicated to the tour "Art and historic shops. Piazza Signoria and surroundings". This artbook is organized according to the same sections of this walk: history, itinerary, further insights, information. It will give you more detailed information about the places, the works and the shops, which you will meet along this way, in order to satisfy all your curiosities!

This area was one of the most characteristic in Florence, speckled by churches, tabernacles, medieval towers, aristocratic palaces, historic shops and seats of the craft and trade guilds and corporations. There were in particular clothes and shoes shops, and also some workshops of artists such as Donatello and Michelozzo. Marks of this old presence are, for example, the monumental statues inside the niches of the Orsanmichele Complex; every niche is dedicated to the relative patron saint of the different craft guilds and corporations. These statues are works of great sculptors such as Donatello, Verrocchio, Ghiberti and Giambologna.
In the end of the nineteenth century, when Florence was the capital of Italy, this area was subjected to some heavy transformations, that concerned not only piazza della Repubblica, but also via Calzaiuoli, which was subjected to some different extension plans. Piazza della Repubblica, a nerve centre since the Roman times, had for all medieval times the role as the meeting place for the trade activities and in the end of the nineteenth century saw heavily changed its shape. Instead piazza della Signoria has kept in the great measure its old look. Piazza della Signoria was an area of great importance since the Roman Times and the old Roman ruins are to this day open under Palazzo Vecchio. This square started to take the present shape from 1268 onwards, when the Guelph party assumed total control of the Commune and razed to the ground many houses belonging to their Ghibelline enemies. With the building of Palazzo Vecchio in 1385, the square became the heart of the social and political life. Under the Loggia della Signoria, that today houses some famous masterpieces such as the Ratto delle Sabine by Giambologna and the Perseo by Cellini, took place the public ceremonies. In the Mercanzia Court the magistrates resolved the civil and business controversies. In piazza della Signoria took place also the public executions and the most memorable was the execution of Girolamo Savonarola, hanged and burned alive on May 23th in 1498. In remembrance of Savonarola there is a plate on the square, in front of the Fontana di Nettuno.
ITINERARY

In this walk you will be wisely guided through some instruments at your disposal. Use the map for seeing the way and the numbered works and/or places that you will meet - clicking on the single numbers you will see the picture of the work and/or historic shop and its short description.
Clicking on the gallery sign you can see in high resolution all pictures of the works and of the historic shops. We suggest you to download the artbook dedicated to the walk "Art and historic shops. Piazza Signoria and surroundings", so that you can get ready to the walk or you can take it always with you throughout the itinerary.
In this walk through the city you can visit not only the monuments but also the historic literary cafés, which made Florence the centre of the Italian cultural and intellectual life at the beginning of the last century. The Historic Centre of Florence is not only a simple museums and monuments concentrate, but also a place where the cultural heritage and the business activities coexist in an extraordinary symbiosis, that makes the city an unique and different place, able to keep alive those memory and tradition that defines its identity.
The itineraries are updated to December 2011. Therefore, the list of the historic shops in every itinerary may be subject to change.

FURTHER INSIGHTS

In this section, that anticipates or follows your itinerary, you can find more detailed information and more exhaustive descriptions about the walk "Art and historic shops. Piazza Signoria and surroundings". In the apposite artbook you can find further insights concerning the monuments and the buildings, the streets and the squares, and the historic shops along this itinerary. This artbook gives you full and comprehensive descriptions of all points of interest along the itinerary and describes the historic shops not just from an historical and product point-of-view, but also from an artistic one, focusing for example on the furniture or on the transformations that have affected the buildings that house them. We suggest you to download the artbook "Art and historic shops. Piazza Signoria and surroundings", so that you can get ready in the best way for a visit that will take you through the most beautiful and suggestive streets and squares of Florence. This walk will offer you exclusive and new patches of the city, and it suggests you to stop in the historic cafés of the city, that were usually the haunt of important artists and intellectuals in the past. The artbook, that is easily downloadable, is organized according to the same sections of this walk: history, itinerary, further insights, information. Besides downloading the artbook, if you didn't do it yet, we suggest you to visit the gallery, where you can see in high resolution the pictures of the places, monuments and historic shops, that you meet along this itinerary.

INFO

You can find below all useful information about the historic shops and literary cafés that you meet along the itinerary from piazza della Repubblica to piazza della Signoria. The points of artistic interest, the monuments and the buildings, that we brought to your attention, are all admirable from the outside.

  • Gilli
    Piazza della Repubblica 39/r  tel. 055 213896
  • Caffè Concerto Paszkowski
    Piazza della Repubblica 31/r  tel. 055 210236
  • Caffè Le Giubbe Rosse
    Piazza della Repubblica 13/r  tel. 055 212280
  • Farmacia Molteni
    Via dei Calzaioli 7/r  tel. 055 215472
  • Rivoire
    Piazza della Signoria 5/r  tel. 055 214412
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