Palazzo del Tribunale di Mercatanzia

The façade of the Palazzo del Tribunale della Mercatanzia

Age

XIV century, XVI and XVIII centuries

Designers

Giovanni di Lapo Ghini and Berto di Martignone

The Palazzo del Tribunale di Mercatanzia is located in Piazza della Signoria in the area where in ancient time there was the Teatro Romano. It was built in 1359 to host the Mercatanzia court, the magistracy charged to judge the legal cases of florentine merchants. The palace was characterized by arches on the ground floor, lowered arch windows and by a covering of ashlars in Pietraforte Sandstone. The works, continued until 1361, were started by Giovanni di Lapo Ghini and then by Berto di Martignone. In 1548 the building was used as the headquarters of different offices (Gabella dei Contratti, Gabella del Sale, etc.) and was raised by one floor; an additional floor was built during the XVIII century. Over the centuries the building has undergone internal and external changes, such as those of the XX century which reported, with the removal of the plaster and various additions, the façade “to the primitive form”. On the façade can be observed the copies (the originals in Pietraforte Sandstone are kept inside the palace) of a bas-relief with Christ blessing, twenty-one coats of arms of the Arts and that of the Court of Mercatanzia, with the lily of Firenze over a bale of merchandise. Since 2011 the palace has housed the Gucci maison museum.

The façade is made with a lining made of ashlars in Pietraforte Sandstone. The top floor of the building is plastered. Above the windows of the first floor there are decorations in graffiti Plaster. The sprandels are in Pietra Serena Sandstone.

Detail of the façade showing coat of arms and decoration in graffiti Plaster
Detail of ashlars in Pietraforte Sandstone