Architecture Around the World

Palazzo Strozzi (The Strozzi Palace)
Via Tuornaboni at Via Strozzi, Florence, Italy


Begun 1489 for Filippo Strozzi


Benedetto da Maiano


Florentine Renaissance civil architecture

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Lower story is rusticated, the middle consists of large blocks of stone, and the top story is smooth.

Mullioned paired windows

Egg-and-dart ..... Dentils

Original torch holder

Original horse tether


Inner courtyard

Composite columns

Piano nobile (second story in US) and third story

Overhanging eaves



Banker Filippo Strozzi began building the city's largest palazzo (palace) in 1489, demolishing fifteen surrounding palaces in the process. Today the palazzo hosts a prestigious biennial antiques fair.

The façades of the Palazzo Strozzi are articulated by means of three different treatments of the masonry corresponding to the three stories: the lower story being rusticated, the middle consisting of large blocks of stone, and the top story being smooth. A similar conjunction of smooth and rusticated masonry is found in the Palazzo Pitti and the Palazzo Medici-Riccardi

Historical perspective

The secular nature of the Renaissance - the triumph of Humanism even in the Catholic South - finds a symbol in the villa and the palace, not least the palaces of Florence, The palaces were built in the middle years of the fifteenth century for such princely and mercantile families as the Strozzi, as well as Medici (Medici-Riccardi), the Pitti, and the Pandolfini. They vary in detail but conform to type:

What is mote important than individual façades is the fact that here had been created a new urban type, which was to be found throughout the centuries in the Georgian square, the Pall Mall clubs, the Wall Street bank. The wealthy businessman, now neither a churchman nor a feudal lord, had found his architectural symbol. Moreover, the modern street, the "corridor" of stone frontages, had, for better or worse, been invented.


Photos and their arrangement © 2002 Chuck LaChiusa.