Piazza della Signoria Florence
The central piazza of Florence, Piazza della Signoria, is located in the heart of medieval Florence, south of the Cathedral and just a few metres from the Ponte Vecchio, the Arno and the Palazzo degli Uffizi.
At the centre of the piazza, renowned as the tragic location of the capital execution of Girolamo Savonarola on 23rd May 1498, is the 14th century Palazzo Vecchio, built between 1299 and 1314 as the headquarters of the Priori delle Arti (Priors of the Arts).
At the foot of the Palazzo Vecchio is a copy of Michelangelo's Statue of David, and slightly further away the Fountain of Neptune by Bartolomeo Ammannati can be admired, as well as the spectacular Equestrian Statue of Cosimo I, a bronze sculpture by Giambologna.
Another particularly prestigious element is the Loggia dei Lanzi (Lodge of the Lancers), built between 1376 and 1381 by Benci di Cione and Simone di Francesco Talenti as a balcony for official ceremonies.
During the 16th century, with the Signoria the lodge lost its original function and became an open-air museum of sculptures from the Medici collection, such as the Perseo (Perseus) by Cellini and the Ratto delle Sabine (Rape of the Sabine Women) by Giambologna.
Piazza della Signoria is also remembered as the bloody stage where Lorenzo De Medici took his revenge against the Pazzi family.
The Congiura dei Pazzi (Pazzi Conspiracy) of 1478 was concluded when the attackers were assassinated and thrown from the Palazzo Vecchio.