Palazzo Vecchio de Palazzo Medici
Historic Building and Palace in Pisa
Palazzo Vecchio de’ Medici, formerly known as Palazzo Appiano, is a historic palace located in Pisa along the Lungarno Mediceo, not far from Palazzo Toscanelli. The palace has undergone various ownerships and transformations over the centuries.
The construction of the palace dates back to the 13th century, on the site of a previous building that existed since the 11th century. During the 14th century, the Appiani family, who ruled Pisa between 1392 and 1398, resided in the palace until 1446 when it was acquired by the Medici family.
Members of the Medici family, including Lorenzo de’ Medici, commonly known as Lorenzo the Magnificent, stayed at the palace frequently, using it as a place to recover from health issues. King Charles VIII of France also stayed in the palace in 1494 when he was a guest of Piero di Lorenzo de’ Medici. During this time, Florence rebelled against Piero, leading to his exile from the city.
In 1539, the palace became the residence of Cosimo I de’ Medici. However, in 1574, Francesco I de’ Medici commissioned the construction of a new Medici palace in Pisa, known as Palazzo Reale. As a result, the original Medici Palace was sold to Jacopo Finocchietti.
In 1871, Vittoria Spinola, the morganatic daughter of Vittorio Emanuele II, commissioned architect Ranieri Simonelli to restore the palace. The restoration involved transforming the medieval building with a Gothic style, including the replacement of ancient windows with the current mullioned windows, and the addition of a crenellated brick tower.
Over the years, the palace has served as the residence of various notable figures, such as the morganatic wife of the King of Italy in 1885 and the journalist Alessandro D’Ancona, who was a senator and head of the Tuscan liberal movement and died there in 1914. Today, Palazzo Vecchio de’ Medici serves as the seat of the Prefecture.
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