Tour at Palazzo Davanzati in Florence and the Museum of the Old Florentine House

Home » Tour at Palazzo Davanzati in Florence and the Museum of the Old Florentine House

There are many palaces used as museums in the city of Florence, such as Palazzo Martelli, the Complesso di San Firenze (which was built between 17th and 18th centuries, and which houses the Franco Zeffirelli foundation) and Palazzo dell’Arte della Lana (which was built towards the end of the 12th century). Today I will talk about Palazzo Davanzati, which is close to Palazzo Strozzi and piazza della Repubblica.

The Davizzi family, who was a merchant and banker family, commissioned the construction of the palace in the 14th century. It was sold to the Bartolini Salimbeni family in 1516. In 1578 the merchant and man of letters Bernardo Davanzati (1529 – 1606) bought the building. He wrote a treatise on the cultivation of vines and trees and he translated the Annals written by Tacito. Between 1772 and the beginning of 19th century, the building housed the harmonic Academics (Accademici armonici), whose academy was attended by Luigi Cherubini and Pietro Nardini.

palazzo-davanzati-a-firenzeStarting from 1904, the antiquarian Elia Volpi restored the building, thus contributing to its regeneration. In 1924 the furniture was purchased by the antiquarians Leopoldo and Vitale Bengujat, while in 1951 the Italian State bought the building, and five years later it became a state museum known as Museum of the Old Florentine House (Museo dell’antica Casa Fiorentina). The palace was reopened in 2009 after a long restoration.

The palace has four floors and an open gallery. On the ground floor there are three big porches. The palace’s covering is made of sandstone, and the façade has three rows of single-lancet windows, the Davanzati’s coat of arms, eight rectangular windows and flagpoles. On the first floor it is possible to admire the madornale hall, the Sala dei Pappagalli (in English Room of the Parrots, it has many medieval frescoes adorned by parrots) and the Studiolo (it means small study).

The hall in the second floor contains artworks such as the tapestries about David and Betsabea, and a portrait of Giovanni di Bicci de’ Medici. In the dining room there are various enamelled terracotta objects, and a tapestry with the Allegory of the Fortress. On the third floor there are the kitchen and the Camera delle Impannate, where you can admire a 16th century bed and a box dating back to the first half of the 15th century.

The palace has many artworks, such as the frescos about the Châtelaine de Vergy, three busts of Roman emperors made by Benedetto Buglioni, and the tabernacle made by Spinello Aretino.

It is possibile to reach the palace by ATAF bus lines C2, 6 and 22, or by taxi.

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