Forte Belvedere

Castle in Florence

Fort Belvedere Florence
CC BY-SA 4.0 / Chabe01

Forte Belvedere, also known as Forte di San Giorgio, is a fortress located in Florence, Italy. It was constructed between 1590 and 1595 during the rule of Grand Duke Ferdinand I of the Medici family. The fort was designed by the renowned architect Bernardo Buontalenti and served as a defensive structure to protect the city from external threats.

One of the unique features of Forte Belvedere is its strategic location and connection to the Pitti Palace through the Boboli Gardens. In times of danger, the fort could be reached from the Pitti Palace, and the Boboli Gardens, which were connected by the Vasari Corridor, provided an additional layer of defense for the Medici rulers.

The most prominent structure within Forte Belvedere is the elegant Palazzina di Belvedere, likely designed by Bartolomeo Ammannati around 1570, preceding the construction of the fort itself. The Palazzina served as a secure repository for the Medici’s possessions. It was equipped with various security measures, such as narrow staircases and doors protected by mechanisms and traps, including sharp blades to thwart any attempts to break in. The room could even be flooded to deter intruders.

Interestingly, Forte Belvedere never faced any sieges or attacks, and its ramparts were never used for military action. Over the years, the fort underwent various restoration and maintenance works, alternating with periods of neglect, especially after World War II.

Today, Forte Belvedere is open to the public during the summer months, usually from June to October. It serves as a venue for major exhibitions and cultural events, attracting visitors who can also enjoy one of the most stunning panoramic views of Florence from its vantage point. The fort stands as a historical landmark and a reminder of the city’s rich architectural and military heritage.

The Forte Belvedere appears in our Complete Guide to Visiting Florence!

This website uses affiliate links which may earn a commission at no additional cost to you!

Visiting Forte Belvedere

Address: Forte Belvedere, Via di San Leonardo, Florence, Metropolitan City of Florence, Italy
Duration: 20 minutes

Nearby Attractions

Tours and Activities from Florence