The palace called Palazzo Strozzi is a splendid example of Renaissance civil architecture.
The construction of Palazzo Strozzi was begun in 1489, commissioned by Filippo Strozzi, a merchant and a banker, member of one of the wealthiest Florentine families, avowed enemy of the de' Medici family.
Filippo Strozzi wanted to erect the largest and most magnificent palace in Florence to show the city that the Strozzi family was back to its power after the long exile imposed by the Medici's.
To this purpose, he bought and completely demolished various buildings around his residence to clear the ground where the new palace was to be built. Yet, it was only thanks to Lorenzo il Magnifico's intervention that Filippo obtained such freedom in an area of the city where several families owned towers and residences.
The only condition placed by the Medici's to the Strozzi family was that once the construction of the palace was started, there should be no interruption, or the whole building would be confiscated.
Construction was started in 1490 based on a project attributed to Benedetto da Maiano, although a model done by Giuliano da Sangallo provides evidence that he was also involved.
Filippo Strozzi (il Vecchio, i.e. Senior) never saw his dream come true and died about two years after the beginning of the works in May 1491.
The works continued with Simone il Pollaiolo, also known as "il Cronaca" and were completed in 1538 by Baccio d'Agnolo, appointed by Filippo Strozzi il Giovane (Junior).
The story of the Strozzi family ends in 1907 when their last descendant, Piero Strozzi, died without heirs.
In 1937 Palazzo Strozzi was acquired by INA (Istituto Nazionale delle Assicurazioni, a national insurance company) which later sold it to the Italian State, in 1999.
Architecture of Palazzo Strozzi
The palace was openly designed to outdo, with its splendor and dimensions, Palazzo Medici in Florence that, however, inspired its shape and 3-floor structurethat overlooks a central courtyard. Even the façade of Palazzo Strozzi clearly reminds of the Medici's palace, except for the choice of a flush surface instead of an unleveled one.
Palazzo Strozzi is a representative example of the ideal home of the Renaissance gentry, halfway between a fortress and a harmonious private home.
** Palazzo Strozzi is at a 3-minute walk from Hotel Unicorno. Exit the hotel and turn left. After a few metres you take Via della Spada. After 100 metres approximately you enter Via de' Tornabuoni, on the corner of Palazzo Strozzi.