Palazzo Vecchio and the Hidden Portrait

Florence needed to build a building that could be used as town hall,

where to stay and to work the priors of Arts, a position born in 1282 to resolve the serious problems between tycoons and commoners.

The problem was the building, to perform its function of hall, had to be put in an urban axis that would guarantee security and centrality.

The defeat of the Ghibellines in 1266 in Benevento was the perfect basis for the construction the structure worldwide known as Palazzo Vecchio and its beautiful square, Piazza della Signoria.

The reason why is very simple

Where now stands Palazzo Vecchio and Piazza della Signoria, first there were the homes of some Ghibelline families. These families, after the defeat, as often happened in the Tuscany of that time, were exiled by winners and their palaces were plundered of wealth and sold or destroyed.

Sure enough, in 1298 the winners ordered to destroy the Ghibellines buildings already abandoned or partially destroyed, to make way for the project of the new city hall and its square.

Not everyone knows

that to the right of the Palazzo Vecchio entrance door, down, behind the statue of “Hercules” of Bandinelli, there’s a face of a man carved in a stone.

Legend told this “hidden portrait” was sculpted by Michelangelo Buonarroti, who, every time he passed by Via della Ninna (between Palazzo Vecchio and Uffizi) was regularly stopped by the same man who always bored him telling the same story on its financial failures and the never paid debit he had with the same Buonarroti.

One day Michelangelo, plagued by boredom, took his tools of his trade in his hand and, as his nuisance spoke, sculpted his profile, forever immortalizing him in Palazzo Vecchio stones.

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