During your visit to Palazzo Vecchio, the most interesting building of Piazza Signoria in Florence, you will see lot of truly amazing rooms. But without doubt, the best onw is the Hall of the Five Hundred (traslated into “Salone del Cinquecento” in Italian).
This will be the first hall you will see during the guided tour of this imposing palace, that reflects the historical power that historically had the city of Florence.
Walking up and down for this huge room you have to be really careful, given the great number of artwork located inside.
The construction of the Hall of the Five Hundred in Palazzo Vecchio began in 1494 by order of Simone del Pollaiolo, on commission of Savonarola, after the restoration of the Republic of Florence, after the Medici exile.
Subsequently, this great hall was enlarged by Giorgio Vasari. With a length of 52 meters and a width of 23 meters, the room has an area of 1200 square meters! This was to be the meeting place of the Great Council, an institution that gathered together all the people with civil rights in the Republic of Florence, composed of 500 members, hence the name.
During the initial construction of the Hall of the Five Hundred, two great frescoes were commissioned by the authorities to Michelangelo and Leonardo Da Vinci to capture the scenes of two great victories of the Florentine republic.
But these works have never been finished, leaving only some of the original sketches of the artists. The decorations that can be found in the Hall of the Five Hundred, in Mannerist style, were made by Giorgio Vasari in the mid 16th century.
The enormous roof also stands out with an heigth of 18 meters, whose 1200 square meters are not supported by any column. Its 39 panels depict scenes from the life of Cosimo I, painted by Vasari.
On the large walls of the room you can see great frescoes also painted by Vasari, with scenes from the various victories of the Republic of Florence against Pisa and Siena. And on the sides of the hall you can also see various sculptures, including the Genius of Victory by Michelangelo, a masterpiece truly not to be missed.
If you want to visit Palazzo Vecchio and the Hall of the Five Hundred you can just buy a ticket at the cash desk and walk in, but if you want to experience Florence at its best, you should really take into account a guided tour. There are many available tour guides, but one of the best in town is undoubtely Guided Florence Tours, whose private tours are affordable, high-quality and detailed.
For more information: https://www.guidedflorencetours.com/en/tours/private-tours/.