Palazzo del Consiglio dei Dodici

Like many of the beautiful buildings that line the Piazza dei Cavalieri, the Palazzo del Consiglio dei Dodici has links to the Order of the Knights of St. Stephen. The name literally translates as the Palace of the Council of the Twelve, a round-table image that could come straight from King Arthur's Camelot.

Originally known as Priory Palace, it became in 1603 the place where the Knights held court. Before the Knights moved in, the architect Francavilla remodeled the palace into a design that blended more harmoniously with the piazza's other buildings.

The Renaissance-style exterior is a pleasing blend of peach plaster and white marble while inside visitors can glimpse the remains of a 16th-century fresco depicting the Assumption. Look out also for a bust of the Grand Duck Ferdinand I de Medici, Cosimo de' Medici's son as well as nautical scenes from the hands of Lippi and Giusti. An ornate ceiling features a depiction of the Virtues painted by Salimbeni in 1602 and Gabrielli's Triumph of Saint Stephen completed nearly a century later.