02 September 2014

Cavorting with the Companion: Palazzo Vecchio

When we were in Florence, we opted to maximize our time outside, instead of burying ourselves in museum after museum. As much as we liked museums, sometimes, the topic of the (mostly religious) art that are available in Florence are all disgusting, so to speak. Most of the paintings depict the bad things that happen to non-believers, and are contrasted with the good things that happen to believers. As both of us are atheists, it's not a pretty sight, at least for us. So we restricted our religious art viewing to this palace, the Palazzo Vecchio. This happens to be the town hall of Florence, and while most of the building is now a museum, government offices are still in here.

I was impressed by the entrance area of this building. Right at the front, there is a copy of Michelangelo's David, so while we didn't visit the original, we saw this one. There are several other impressive statues around the area, including the one located in the covered area just across the entrance. I also liked the inner courtyard that houses the small statue of the boy angel. The murals are just amazing and definitely stunning; I found myself gazing up all the time here, which apparently will be the theme of this visit for the most part.

In my opinion, the main hall is the most impressive room in this palace. This is the first room that one sees, as the entrance is here, and the ticket checkers are here as well. There are several marble statues that are larger than life that line the walls. The large paintings are very massive and will definitely capture your attention. I spent several minutes gazing at the intricate details of the artwork that are featured in this room.

There is this small room at the far end of this main hall, and entrance to this room is space-limited, so there is a guard that only permits entry to this room to a handful of people at a time. The interior is very intricate, the room is very dimly-lit, and photography is not allowed with flash. Try not to miss it if you visit.

When you exit the main hall (also known as the Salone dei Cinquecento), you will then proceed along a route that visits several of the rooms in the palace. There are various names associated with these rooms, but to be honest, visitors would probably not remember the individual names, as they will just all blend into the distant memory. Indeed, in room after room, we were presented with artwork, and most if not all of the artwork were above us. Most are paintings that are higher than eye level, as they were on the higher parts of the walls, or painted at the ceiling. Hence, after our visit, our necks were a little more than complaining.

There are plenty of Renaissance artwork here on display, and most if not all are religious in nature. So after our visit here, we opted to avoid other museums displaying the same concept, as seriously, religious art stemming from the Renaissance isn't the most palatable kind of art in my opinion. That being said, I still enjoyed our visit to this museum, and would definitely recommend it to other folks thinking of visiting Florence.


  1. I had a good laugh when reading your intro... so true! I can picture the two atheists in Firenze, open-mined yet somewhat tired of hearing they are going to hell :-D

    1. Zhu,

      Well, what can I say, I liked the art, but not the indoctrination! :-)