Designed by Michelozzo di Bartolomeo in 1444 and completed in 1460, this imposing three story palace was commissioned by Cosimo de’ Medici, at the time head of the Medici banking family.
Design aspects and masonry flourishes, which transform from aggressive (ground floor) to elegant (top floor), were later used in other Florentine buildings, namely the Medici’s Palazzo Pitti, as well as Palazzo Strozzi.
In 1540, the Medici moved out and a century later the Riccardi moved in, but not without a complete remodel, which added the second floor, lavishly decorated Galleria, including the fantastical ceiling fresco Allegory of Divine Wisdom by Luca Giordano (1658).
The Cappella dei Magi (chapel) contains a series of frescoes by Benozzo Gozzoli done in 1459 and unabashedly featuring members of the Medici family. Gozzoli snuck in a self-portrait of himself amongst the crowd. Seeing this room takes planning, as only eight people are allowed in at a time for seven minute intervals. You can reserve your spot at the palace ticket window.
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