One of the most elegant squares in the whole of Italy, Piazza della Signoria is as grand and fascinating as its tumultuous history.

This square is the perfect place to soak up the city’s atmosphere, even if you’ll be doing it with hundreds of other tourists. For a quieter experience, take a stroll there in the evening, and sit under the Loggia dei Lanzi to admire the view.

If Piazza Duomo was the religious core of the city, Piazza della Signoria had always been the political one. Dominated by the handsome 14th century Palazzo Vecchio, the square hosts a sort of open-air sculpture museum, the Loggia dei Lanzi, and a copy of Michelangelo’s David – a symbol of Florentine pride.

piazza signoria florence
photo @kirkandmimi on pixabay

What to see in Piazza della Signoria

Palazzo Vecchio Museum – one of the most rewarding places in Florence, for those interested in its history. A severe looking building whose name means ‘old palace’, it had been the seat of the government since the beginning of 1300. In the 16th century the ruling Medici had the interior completely renovated.

Outside are the world famous David, and the Florentine “Marzocco”, the fierce lion holding Florence’s coat of arms. Both statues are copies. (The David original is in the Accademia, and the Marzocco original is in the Bargello Museum).

Loggia dei Lanzi – an elegant loggia that hosts sculptures from the Roman to late Renaissance period and the 19th century. The masterpieces are the handsome “Perseus” holding Medusa’s head, with intricate details, and the captivating “Rape of the Sabine women” by Giambologna.

After visiting Piazza Signoria, check out the most beautiful squares in Florence. Just behind the LOggia dei Lanzi, you’ll find the entrance to the Uffizi Gallery, that hosts with some of the world’s greatest paintings.

piazza signoria florence
Loggia dei Lanzi – photo @stemark44 on pixabay

Museo Gucci – fashion victims shouldn’t miss the history of the Gucci brand, founded in Florence in 1921. This little gallery shows some great pieces from Gucci’s archive alongside a café.

Uffizi Caffetteria – if you’re visiting the Uffizi, don’t miss the rooftop café, from where you can take interesting photos of the square.

Caffe’ Rivoire – is one of Florence’s historical cafés. It’s been here since 1872, where it became famous for serving the best hot chocolate in town.

piazza signoria florence

Did you know?  The “Marzocco Fiorentino” heraldic lion.

The Florentine Republic adopted the lion as its symbol as it represented strength and fortitude. and the Medici family kept it when they came into power. You’ll see plenty of them around Florence and in other Tuscan towns that were under Florentine rule.

Your friendly online guide to Florence and Tuscany. Get our insider travel tips delivered to your mailbox every month.

Explore more of Tuscany

  • Tuscany is famous for its charming small towns, Medieval hilltop hamlets and scenic walled towns rich with atmosphere. Here you’ll find some of our favourite towns that we recommend adding to your itineraries. We’ve chosen...
  • Tuscany is famous for its hills and scenic hilltop towns. From all-time favourite San Gimignano and Cortona to lesser known gems like Massa Marittima, Pitigliano and Anghiari, each one has its own distinctive atmosphere. Many...
  • Masters of Florence, the series about the Medici dynasty, has just made its debut on Netflix. This period drama mixes together history, fiction and passion in fifteenth century Florence. In case you’re wondering who this...
  • In this 5 day itinerary travelling around Tuscany, we whisk you from the awe-inspiring Piazza dei Miracoli, to some of the world’s Medieval treasures and, of course, through some of the best scenery that Tuscany...
  • The Chianti area is Tuscany’s main wine region. Located south of Florence, it’s remarkable for its rolling hills and sun-drenched vineyards. With scenic towns like Radda, Castellina and Castelnuovo Berardenga within its borders, it makes...