Palazzo Medici-Riccardi : Michelin's recommendations
The Palace reflects a medieval austerity with its rusticated stonework gradually softening towards the upper storeys, horizontal intermediary friezes supporting the windows and a massive overhanging cornice beneath the roof. Originally square in shape, with heavy porticos and windows with bars on the ground floor, it looked more like a transformed fortress than a Renaissance palace, a style evidenced by the discreetly framed twin bay windows with semicircular arches on the upper floors. The interior courtyard is clearly innovative: a high portico composed of Ionic and Corinthian columns supports a frieze of medallions, forming the base for the twin windows of the upper storey with occuli in-between, crowned by a loggia with slim colonnades. The brilliance of the Palace is focussed in its tiny chapel, its walls decorated with frescoes by Benozzo Gozzoli (1459) who, based on the theme of the Adoration of the Magi, produced a masterly illustration of Florentine life at that time. Among the figures in the landscape, apart from a self-portrait of the painter himself wearing a red cap with the inscription "Opus Benotii", the artist has portrayed young Lorenzo mounted on a white palfrey (the harness bears the Medici coat of arms), his brother Giuliano on horseback with a cheetah, Pietro the Gouty on another white steed and various religious figures who came from the East to attend the Council of Florence (1439), dressed in the style of the Magi. Another magnificent sight in the Palace is the Salle Luca Giordano, its ceiling decorated with a fine example of Baroque art, the allegorical Apotheosis of the Medici (1683).
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