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Piazza della Signoria

The area now occupied by the square has always been very important for the city. In the early Roman period the area was occupied by stately palaces, the baths and a large fullonica - a plant for dyeing and processing textiles, the size of which suggests that the textile industry was already highly developed in Florence at that time. During the Middle Ages, a baptistery and an early Christian basilica were built in the area, as well as a prison building where Palazzo Vecchio stands today. In the 10th century, when the great towers were erected throughout the city, the old buildings were either demolished to recover the stones or incorporated into new constructions. In the area of Piazza della Signoria, the Palazzo dei Priori was built near the towers of the Ghibelline Uberti family. Once the Ghibelline family's district had been destroyed, the current square was conceived so that the Uberti could in no way rebuild their home. For centuries Piazza della Signoria hosted grand public festivals and important competitions. Today in the splendid Piazza it is possible to admire, in addition to the Palazzo della Signoria, numerous statues linked to the most important events in the city of Florence; among the various sculptures we should mention the equestrian monument to Cosimo I, by Giambologna, the fountain of Neptune, sculpted by Ammanati, the copy of Donatello's Marzocco and that of Michelangelo's David (the originals have been moved to the Bargello and the Galleria dell'Accademia respectively).

Photo Credits: Zolli, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons - Text Credits: Wikipedia

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