Palazzo dell’Arcone, an iconic building in a symbolic square: Piazza della Repubblica was Florentia’s Forum in the Roman age. Later on, during medieval and Renaissance times, it hosted the street market mentioned by the fourteenth-century Florentine poet Antonio Pucci: “There was never a more valuable garden / than Mercato Vecchio at the time / nourishing the eyes and palate of Florentines”.

A bright memento of this period is still preserved, though as an eighteenth-century replica, through the statue called “Dovizia”, originally sculpted by Donatello in 1431, standing on top of the pillar by the same name, the “column of Abundance”, in the spot where the cardo and decumano roads used to meet.

“the old city center… brought back to life”

This very central part of the city, located between the Duomo and Palazzo Vecchio, was one of the protagonists of the restyling plan which, starting in 1865, redesigned the urban planning of Florence, to adapt its structure and image for its role of Italian capital city.

The new stylish rectangular square, named after Vittorio Emanuele II at the time, framed by mansions and porticoes, became a symbol for the city’s rebirth. On the monumental arch, the “arcone”, from which this Palace derives its name, an iconic sentence was engraved: “The ancient centre of the city / restored from age-old squalor / to new life.”