Statue of Cosimo I de' Medici
Located in the center of the Piazza dei Cavalieri is a statue of Cosimo I de'Medici. This grand statue, full of symbolism, was commissioned by Grand Duke Ferdinand I in 1596 in honor of his father, Cosimo I de' Medici. He had been the first Grand Master of the Order of the Knights of St. Stephen and the most powerful man in the province.
Cosimo I de' Medici was Duke of Florence from 1537 to 1574 as well as being first Grand-Duke of Tuscany from 1569. He is depicted wearing his sumptuous robes of office and from his high pedestal is subduing a dolphin, symbolic of the Medici domination of the coastline and oceans.
In front of the pedestal is a shell-shaped basin adorned with two frightening monsters. The statue and fountain, crafted from fine white Ferrara marble, were the work of Pietro Francavilla.