Palazzo Medici Riccardi Reopens with Free Entrance


Michelozzi’s Renaissance courtyard in Palazzo Medici Riccardi

Palazzo Medici Riccardi, a Renaissance palace now the government seat of the Florence metropolitan area, is offering free admission to visitors on the weekend of May 8 and 9 on the occasion of the museum’s reopening after a prolonged closure due to the Covid health emergency.

Also to be close to their family church, San Lorenzo, the Medici rulers commissioned architect Michelozzo to build their palace in 1444 in the Renaissance style, which included a revival of the principles of classical architecture such as proportion, symmetry and geometry as displayed.  The palazzo ‘s most illustrious resident was probably Lorenzo de’ Medici, aka “The Magnificent.” He and his brother Giuliano (killed in the Florence cathedral at Easter mass in 1478 during a conspiracy, which failed, designed to bring the Pazzi family to power), many other Florence residents of the day and contemporary leaders in Europe and the Near East are famously depicted as characters in the museum’s biblical “Journey of the Magi” fresco, created by Benozzo Gozzoli in 1459.  The room also contained a painting of a Madonna and Child by Filippo Lippi, now replaced by a copy; the original is in a Berlin museum.

When Michelangelo lived with the Medici family in their palace from 1492 to 1492, he studied antiquities in the art collection of Lorenzo de’ Medici and learned of Neo-platonic and humanist ideas by friends and philosophers who frequented the Medici Palace.

When the Riccardi family purchased the building from the Medicis in 1659, the family ordered remodelling and renovation.  One addition is the Great Hall, entirely lined with floor to ceiling mirrors in gilded frames below a magnificent ceiling, decorated between 1682 and 1685 by Luca Giordano, which is also part of museum itinerary.  As a former private home, Palazzo Medici Riccardi also contains a limonaia — a secluded garden filled with lemon trees.

Museum hours are 10 am – 6 pm daily (closed Wednesday).  The normal ticket price is €7.  Reservations to visit are necessary and must be made a day ahead of time by calling 055 2760552 or sending an email to  (rosanna cirigliano)