This building was constructed between 1444 and 1460 by Michelozzo Michelozzi on the orders of Cosimo il Vecchio. It ... More
This building was constructed between 1444 and 1460 by Michelozzo Michelozzi on the orders of Cosimo il Vecchio. It represents the prototype of the Florentine Renaissance style, characterized by mullioned windows of every size. Halfway through the 17th century it was sold to the Marchesi Riccardi family who enlarged it, adding the gallery which has Baroque frescoes by Luca Giordano. The Riccardi family held onto the palazzo until 1814 when it became the site of the Ministry of the Interior and, from 1871, the Prefecture. Inside there is a beautifully porticoed courtyard where there are many Roman remains gathered as well as various sculptures. The Chapel which was designed by Michelozzi is also noteworthy. There you will find frescoes by Benozzo Gozzoli which show the journey of the Magi to Bethlehem (1459). Within them, there are various famous people of the period including Lorenzo the Magnificient and Galeazzo Maria Sforza.
I went to the Medici-Riccardi palace last summer, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. It's one of those fascinating places off the beaten track, even though it's right on it.
-Benozzo Gozzoli's The Procession of the Magi painting in the Medici chapel. A wonderful testament to the family's wealth, power, and good PR skills. I just kept going back there...
-The modern Tuscan government's headquarters. Check out modern Italian government and think of how funny it is that their building was a center of the "Godfathers of the Rainassance." The people there are very nice and friendly
-I believe the Medici libraries are there.
-The courtyards of Lorenzo de'Medici, and other pivotal birthplaces of the Renaissance. Just sitting there and imagining all of the artists and other historical figures that came here to exchange ideas and sculpt western history should be reason enough.
I have to warn, though...because the Medici family moved out of this house, it has changed ownership, and many of the artwork formerly in it has been moved into museums, don't come here expecting there to be HUGE exhibits (although there usually are some. At least when I was there, there was an exhibit on ancient Greek and Roman sculptures, possibly some collected by the family).
In conclusion: There isn't as much here as in other places in Florence, but what IS there is very, very amazing and well worth it.
I took a school field trip to this place and I absolutely loved it. If you love art definately take a trip to Florence. The Palazzo Medici-Riccardi is very near the square and the market place. All around it are great little pannini shops and eateries. You can sit on the bench of the the Palazzo Medici-Riccardi and enjoy a pannini di proscuitto e formaggio. I definately can't wait to go back.
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