Museum of Palazzo Davanzati
Museum of Palazzo Davanzati is a beautiful preserved palace that gives you a real flavor of a late 14th century home. This palace was originally built for the Davizzi family, a rich and powerful merchant family from the 14th Century. Later on the Museum of Palazzo Davanzati (also known as the Museum of the Old Florentine House) opened as a public museum in 1956.
It really felt like I was stepping back in time and getting a glimpse into the elite life in the 14th and 15th centuries in Florence. Inside the building it still has the original fired brick flooring and wooden ceilings. There are some beautiful restored frescos on the walls. The decorative ceilings and furnishings and how life was lived in each of the rooms was exceptionally interesting.
I found the rooms typical of a real home. A main living room, the dining room, the study room and bedrooms with fireplaces. In the kitchen there is not only the household equipment of their daily life, but also the work tools, like the loom and the spinning wheel. There are also fanciful drainpipes, toilets and unexpected openings in the floor to the outside. A pulley system linked to a well is still extant. It was cool to see how they got the fresh water and where they prepared the food. You can see where they took out the garbage and did the basic tasks we all do every day.
The Nuptial room has 14th Century frescoes and has two shrines and a chest filled with linen from the period. The bedrooms, living areas and kitchen are filled with period pieces as well as detailed information on the wall murals. The one of Lady of Vergy was especially interesting. If you are into historical fiction, this is a must see.
The display that I found fascinating was the room devoted to various types of lace. Each intricate sample was in terrific condition complete with all the looms, spindles and carders. They also had other instruments and implements used in the needle and the bobbin lace-making procedure throughout time. In the display cases were beautiful oil paintings of different family members shown wearing the actual lace collars and similar lace items. The tapestries in the main halls were also in terrific condition. Their colors were as bright as the day they had been woven.
They have some wedding chests, also domestic and some ornamental pottery. Utensils and decorations, all of which tell the story of the typical time. In addition there are many sculptures four sixteenth-century stucco, plaster, clay or stone.
If you like to see the way wealthy people once lived, Museum of Palazzo Davanzati is really the best place you can visit in Florence. It’s not a very big house so it should take about an hour to see. Museum of Palazzo Davanzati provides information cards in English in each room. The ground floor and first floor can be seen anytime. However, the upper floors can only be visited at 10:00 am, 11:00 am and 12:00 pm as part of a guided tour. You can leave your name with the staff to see the rooms upstairs. Anyone visiting Florence should visit Museum of Palazzo Davanzati. It was fantastic.
Phone number: +39 055 238 8610
Address: Via Porta Rossa, 13, 50123 Florence, Italy
Hours: Monday through Sunday, 8:15 am 1:50 pm
The museum is closed on the second and fourth Sundays of each month.