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The L-shaped Piazza della Signoria may very well be the world’s most beautiful city square. It is surrounded by several important buildings, including Palazzo degli Uffizi, the oldest art museum in the world, and Palazzo Vecchio, the former palace of the Medicis. This immensely wealthy banking family left a huge mark on the city-state of Florence during the three centuries that the family reigned. A replica of Michelangelo’s David stands just outside the door.
Palazzo Vecchio is also flanked by the colossal 16th century Fountain of Neptune by Ammanati and the equally enormous replicas of Donatello’s bronze Judith & Holofernes and Bandinelli’s marble Hercules & Cacus. The benches in the 14th-century Loggia dei Lanzi are a favourite resting spot for tourists, with statues of Perseus, The Rape of Polyxena and The Rape of the Sabines. It’s a genuine open-air museum.