Towards 1444 from architect Michelozzo by Cosimo the Eldest, the patriarch of the Medici family, commissioned to Michelozzo a palace to be built in via Larga (now via Cavour), close to the church of San Lorenzo: the palace is the first Renaissance building erected in Florence.
Characterised by clearly delineated and rusticated floors and a huge cornice crowning the roofline, the palace stands out for the arched windows arranged along its front and the partially closed loggia on the corner of the building.
Two asymmetrical doors led to the typical fifteenth century courtyard, built following models of Brunelleschi and decorated with graffiti, originally opened on to a typically Renaissance garden. By 1460 the palace was complete (it was also the residence of Lorenzo the Magnificent), although in 1517 the original building was altered by closing the loggia and adding the two "kneeling" windows according to Michelangelo's project.
After the transfer of Cosimo de' Medici to Palazzo Vecchio in 1540, after he became Grand Duke, the palace continued to be inhabited by the lesser members of the family until 1659, when Ferdinando II sold it to the Riccardi marquises. It was at this time that the palace layout was enlarged and significantly altered.
The most important works consisted in the large hall decorated with the frescoes of Luca Giordano that is one of the most significant examples of Baroque architecture in Florence, and in the new entrance staircase built by the architect Foggini. Baroque decorations were added also to the courtyard through the addition of old marbles belonging to the Riccardi collection.
Perhaps the most important section of the palace is still today the Chapel frescoed in 1459 by Benozzo Gozzoli representing the "Procession of the Magi". The frescoes explicitly referred to the train of the Concilium that met in Florence in 1439. As a matter of fact many of the personalities portrayed are wealthy protagonists of the time and members of the Medici family.
Ph: +39 055 2760340
Tickets: 4,00 euro
Opening Times: Sundays - 9:00 am - 7:00 pm; the ticket office closes 30 minutes before the museum closing time.
Weekdays - 9:00 am - 7:00 pm; the ticket office closes 30 minutes before the museum closing time