The Palazzo Vecchio and Surroundings

Beside the Duomo, this is the other ground-zero for tourists. The Palazzo Vecchio was completed at the turn of the 16th century, and is still in use as Florence's town hall.

Click for a larger version Piazza della Signoria

The Palazzo is to the right, as well as the Ufizzi Galleries. In the middle is Giambologna's statue of Cossimo I, first Medici Grand Duke.

Click for a larger version Familiar fellow

This was the original site of the David statue. The original was moved to the Galleria dell'Academia in the 19th century, and this copy put in its place.

Behind is a pretty goofy (I believe the technical term is "mannerist") statue of Neptune, with fountain.

Click for a larger version The Palazzo Vecchio

It doubles as Florence town hall.

Click for a larger version Interior courtyard

You can get this far without paying for admission.

Click for a larger version The Salone dei Cinquecento, or main gallery

Stuffed with paintings and statues, even the panels on the ceiling have paintings. The murals on the side are by Vasari, and chronicle the history of Florence.

Click for a larger version Main gallery, side wall
Click for a larger version Sculpture in the Salone dei Cinquecento

Winning is all! Perhaps this is where Macchiavelli got his inspiration.

John Wilson-Smith very kindly identified the statue. It's "Hercules and Diomedes" (1550), by Vincenzo de' Rossi (1525-1587), Florence. According to the story, Diomedes is an adversary, who Hercules throws to man-eating mares. Looks more like his main squeeze.