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HIDDEN TREASURES OF FLORENCE: THE “MARZOCCO” Palazzo Vecchio Piazza della Signoria - Firenze

One of the most renowned symbol of Florence is the “Marzocco”, a lion symbolizing people’s power since the time of the Florentine republic. In 1300 beside Palazzo Vecchio, near the street named “Via Dei Leoni” (“Lions street”), the Signoria held an enclosure of 24 lions, also as a tribute to Guglielmo – called “The Lion” after his family crest featuring this animal - who was appreciated by Florentine population for his good administration. Strolling in the city centre you can find a lot of images of the lion, symbol of force and daring: in Signoria Square, for example, two lions stand at the entrance of the Loggia de’ Lanzi, two more at the entry of Palazzo Vecchio and one, a copy of the famous Donatello’s masterpiece, stands in front of the same Palace. Also the base of the traditional lamppost decorating the riverbank walls features the shape of lion paws. A rampant lion stands out on the Arnolfo tower, at the top of Palazzo Vecchio; the tradition says that when the lion turns toward the river Arno river it will rain.

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