The column was placed in Piazza Santa Trinita by order of the Grand Duke Cosimo I de’ Medici to symbolize the virtues and glory of his family. It came from the monumental swimming pool of the Terme di Caracalla in Rome, and was donated by Pope Pius IV to Cosimo I. It is a large monolithic column, 11.17 meters high and weighing about 50 tons, arrived in Firenze after a long journey, which lasted a year, under the supervision of Giorgio Vasari and Bartolomeo Ammannati. The column was dedicated to Justice and for this reason at its top was placed a statue of Justice, originally made of wood and Terracotta, then replaced by an ancient red porphyry by Francesco del Tadda and his son Romolo, by using a model of Bartolomeo Ammannati. The processing of porphyry, in which Francesco and Romolo Del Tadda were specialized, lastes about eleven years; six blocks, probably coming from ancient Roman columns, were assembled together to realize a statue of 6 arms of height that was placed on a capital at the top of the column only in 1581. Later, a Bronze cloak was placed on the shoulders of the statue to balance a disproportion existing between the shoulders and the rest of the body of the statue.
The base of the column is obtained by using the Breccia di Seravezza and Marble stones; the stem is made of Granite; the Statua della Giustizia is made of red porphyry, a igneous silica-rich rock, containing large crystals of feldspar and quartz; the cloak is realized in Bronze.