Palazzo Vecchio Florence Palazzo Vecchio (old palace) is the most important civil building in the city of Florence. The construction, to plans by Arnolfo di Cambio, was begun in 1299. Initially it was the seat of the Priors of Art and of the Signoria. Temporarily it was housed by the Grand Ducal family under Cosimo I de' Medici before their transfer to Palazzo Pitti. It was in this period (1550-65) that Vasari transformed it, sumptuously redecorating the newly reconstructed interiors for the palace's rôle both as the seat of government and official residence of the ruling family.turkeyarena.com The entire palace is a museum, especially the so-called "Monumental Quarters". It is worth seeing the "Salone dei Cinquecento, the study of Francesco I de' Medici, the room of the Elements and the Hall of the Lilies. The Loggia dei Lanzi overlooks the big square Piazza della Signoria in front of the palace; there are several important statues, including "Perseus"by Cellini and "the Rape of the Sabine Women" by Giambologna.