Florence – Palazzo Vecchio (Tower)

The tower of the Palazzo Vecchio is 95 metres in height and was built in the thirteenth century, making it one of the oldest parts of the palace complex. The tower isn’t centred at the heart of the building, solely because the rest of the palace was later built around it. The tower is sometimes called Torre d’Arnolfo after its designer, Arnolfo di Cambio, who was also responsible for the construction of Florence Cathedral.

A view of the tower from the lower platform.

The walk to the top is easy in terms of the steps being wide and there’s space for people to pass. The system for entering the tower was also well managed, there are a limited number of people who are allowed to climb the steps to the top of the tower at any one time. When we got our tickets on the ground floor to see the palace, a helpful staff member suggested that we go to the tower first as it wouldn’t be as busy. That advice seemed useful, as the queues got much longer throughout the day (even in February) and we only had to wait around five minutes for our turn.

There were views of the Uffizi Gallery, which takes up both sides of this neighbouring building.

There were some excellent views of the city, but I’ve placed those in a separate post.

Structural supports were evident as we ascended the tower.

Unfortunately, visitors can’t climb to the very top as this section is closed off.

This was under one of the wooden beams at the top of the tower, dated to 1690.

I had a little look on TripAdvisor and most people enjoyed their experience. I did note this review, entirely bizarre….

“For the person top of the tower your english is not up to standards , you should be fired if you can handle being polite or professional to people that come to visit and spend money in your country, thats why you have a job ( without visitors , no job!!). The only things Italian should stick with it are being in the field with food, harsh but sincere !!!!”

It’s almost as though Florence is in England with the expectation that security staff should speak English. Most do, but I don’t see why they should have to….

We used the Firenze Card to get entrance to all of the various areas of the Palazzo Vecchio, but for anyone who just wanted to climb the tower it’s €6.50. Children can climb the tower if they’re with a responsible adult (that’s me out then) unless they’re under the age of six, then they can’t. The museum warns that people with vertigo shouldn’t climb the tower, although personally, I didn’t find it at all bad as there weren’t really any sheer drops that had to be encountered. I think we were done in around half an hour, including the queueing, ascent, viewing and descent times and the views are just as good as other locations such as from the Cathedral.