The Davanzati Palace is a structure that demonstrates the transition from austere tower-type houses to graceful buildings in the Renaissance style. Italians advise you to definitely visit the palazzo, which clearly demonstrates how people lived more than 500 years ago. Surprisingly, almost all the exhibits on display have been preserved intact. To get to the attraction, you need to come to Red Gate Street, 9 in Florence.
History of the Davantsati Palace
The building was built in the middle of the 14th century. Its first owners were the Davizzi family. The ground floor at that time was occupied by craft workshops for the production of woolen fabric. At the beginning of the 16th century, the building was acquired by Bartolini, and towards the end of the 16th century it passed to Davanzati. At this time, the palace was decorated with the family coat of arms, which has survived to this day, and a charming terrace allowing one to view the city from above. And in the atrium, the owners of the house made deals and conducted business negotiations.
After 300 years, the last representative of the family voluntarily passed away, and the building was bought by a local antique dealer, who restored the palace and opened a private museum in it with the right to sell exhibits. Thanks to this, the collection of the Davanzati Palace changed periodically, attracting visitors who love antiques.
In the mid-twentieth century, Palazzo Davanzati was bought by the state, establishing the Museum of the Florentine House in the old mansion. The museum existed for almost 50 years, and then closed for a 10-year restoration.
What you can see
The Davantsati Palace is fully operational, but while the first two floors can be viewed independently, the subsequent floors can only be visited with a guide. The number of places on these excursions is limited. By the way, the floors in the building are counted from the second; the first in Italy was traditionally considered zero or basement.
On the ground floor there is an exhibition telling about the history of the construction of the Davantsati Palace. From here you can exit into a closed courtyard, decorated with capitals and arches of the 14th century. Also noteworthy is the ancient well, equipped with devices for supplying water to the upper floors, where the kitchen and living quarters were located. From the courtyard, the attraction opens from a completely different side, thanks to open staircases, galleries and passages connecting all floors.
The first floor of the Davanzati Palace displays original objects from the 16th century, including a huge fireplace, equipped to heat the house using a complex system of air ducts. Here there was a bedroom with lovely wall paintings and the Davanzati coat of arms, a bathroom, an office, a dining room, better known as the “parrot room”. The room received such an unusual name thanks to the frescoes that once imitated draperies with these exotic birds.
The second floor somewhat duplicates the premises of the lower tier, only instead of a dining room there was a living room. The top floor is equipped with a kitchen (this was done for fire safety purposes), a butter churn and a room with open windows. The usual window glass here was replaced in ancient times with fabric impregnated with special compounds to protect against moisture and wind.