The Strozzi Palace is one of the most formidable and beautiful palaces in a city known for many such structures. Not many in the city rival its size or scope. A very wealthy individual in Florence named Fillipo Strozzi the Elder commissioned the construction of the Palazzo Strozzi upon returning to the city in 1466. Strozzi Palace history began when the wealthy merchant wanted to assert the importance of his family in the greater context of Florentine society. The Strozzi family was not on good terms with the Medici clan, and it is thought that the colossal size of the palace was intended to be a direct statement of stature and wealth. The plans that were drawn up required so much land, that in the 1470s, a number of buildings were knocked down just to make way for the imposing palace that would occupy an entire block.
The construction of the Strozzi Palace began in 1489. The design commission was awarded to Benedetto da Maiano. A distinguishing characteristic, generally speaking, of the Palazzo Strozzi is that it is much more plain than many of the other palaces in Florence. Whereas many of the other palaces such as the Palazzo Vecchio and the rival Palazzo Medici can be said to be much more ornate, this one was designed purposefully to look as it does: formidable, large, and refined. Some of the conventions used to achieve this look include rusticated stone and a symmetrical pattern of mullioned windows and arched windows. The Strozzi Palace history was shaped by the family that occupied it all the way up until 1937. After this time, the Strozzi Palace was taken over by a group called the Instituto Nazionale delle Assicurazioni. The institute granted the building to the state a few years later. It currently houses a number of different groups and associations.
Strozzi Palace history came to represent more than just the family in the twentieth century. The massive palace is now home to the Institute of Humanist Studies, the Gabinetto G.P. Viesseux, and the Renaissance Studies Institute. Now that the expansive Strozzi Palace is used for public purposes, it hosts many international exhibitions, including fashion shows, an immensely popular annual antique show, and the Biennale del’Antiquariato. Although there are many different events that take place throughout the year at the Strozzi Palace in Florence Italy, the primary reason that people visit it is to see the amazing architecture and the interior of the public rooms. Unless you are visiting for one of the exhibitions or shows that are going on at the palace, you will really only be able to walk around and witness the enormity of this structure. This is well worth it, however, and the palace is within close walking distance of many other attractions, like the Piazza della Signoria, the Ponte Vecchio, and the Bargello Museum.
When you visit Florence you will have the option of visiting many amazing destinations. If you are interested in visiting some of the best palaces in Florence, the Palazzo Strozzi should definitely make your list. There are also an array of cafes, restaurants, and accommodations nearby.
Image: Andreas Jungherr (flickr)