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Palazzo Vecchio: exterior

There are many traces of the medieval period, starting with its exterior, which reminds us of a fortress, with its defensive walkway all around the top and protected by strong battlements. The ancient wall on the right side of the palace is from the 1300s, when Florence was governed by the Duke of Athens. It was built on orders of the duke as yet another fortification of the building. It is here that a small iron door opens onto a secret set of stairs built into the thick walls, stairs that served in case of a quick getaway.

The palace as it is now is the result of numerous transformations and later add-ons.