The Palazzo, designed in 1489 by the architect Giuliano da Sangallo, Lorenzo il Magnifico's favourite, has facades designed with three degrading orders of rusticated pietra forte. It was designed for the banker Giuliano Gondi Il Vecchio, on the ruins of the ancient Roman Theatre, above which a tower had also been built to house the study of the notary Ser Piero Da Vinci, Leonardo's father.
The latter, from his father's window, drew the Hanged Man and, it seems, the Annunciation.
The Palace was inaugurated in June 1495 on the occasion of a visit by the Duke of Urbino to Florence.
In 1600 the beautiful fountain in the courtyard was added. In the 18th and early 19th centuries, various restoration and embellishment works were carried out to adapt some of the rooms to the taste of the time, such as the splendid alcove on the first floor frescoed by Matteo Bonechi.
The panoramic views, the spacious and luxurious interiors and the central location in the city make Palazzo Gondi the perfect setting for unique and high-level events.
In 1870 the architect Giuseppe Poggi was commissioned by the City of Florence to widen the street that separated Palazzo Gondi from Palazzo Vecchio. Poggi demolished the ancient tower incorporated in the palace and rebuilt the corner, completing Sangallo's design. He then built a terrace on the first floor on Via dei Gondi and used the old sketches of the tower for the façade below.
In the 20th century the restoration and maintenance of the Palazzo continued. Amerigo Gondi transformed the attics and the historic altana into a flat with terraces offering a unique view of Florence's monuments.
In 2005 Bernardo and Vittoria Gondi decided to carry out a huge restoration that lasted 6 years, so that Palazzo Gondi would live a new Renaissance, re-emerging in the life of the city through new activities, such as a location for events and a period residence.
Although not very large, only two bays by three, the silent and majestic courtyard nevertheless attracts attention by the richness of its sculptural decoration, which contrasts with the sobriety of the façade. It is considered one of the most beautiful courtyards in Renaissance Florence.
The courtyard of Palazzo Gondi is traditional: in fact, Sangallo followed the Florentine style by using arches on columns rather than his normal preference, the motif of arches and piers found in his other buildings in Naples.
What also distinguishes it from other Florentine courtyards is the use of an external staircase.
A large hall with a coffered ceiling dominated by a monumental fireplace, in pietra forte, designed by Giuliano da Sangallo and surmounted by two large statues, Hercules and Samson, who, like Numi Tutelari, protect the door and windows of the palace. On the walls are a series of portraits of the most famous members of the important French branch, which supported the two Medici queens, Catherine and Mary. Adjacent, two sitting rooms with frescoes by Matteo Bonechi and Niccolò Contestabili.
In the ancient, irregularly vaulted cellars, there is a wine shop where the wines produced by the Gondi family in the Bossi Estate continue to age in the shadow of Palazzo Vecchio.
Via dei Gondi, 2, 50122, Firenze
Piazza San Firenze, 1, 50122, Firenze
+39 055 2670177