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Borgo degli Albizi

Street of Palaces

Borgo degli Albizi

This fine old street was part of the ancient Via Cassia, linking Rome with Bologna; it deserves a leisurely stroll for its palaces and boutiques. At its western end, at Via del Procònsolo, stands the Palazzo Nonfiniti. Begun for the Strozzi family in 1593, at least eight architects had a whack at this palace, including Buontalenti, but somehow it never got done. A guidebook writer in 1822 referred to it as the 'palazzo non finiti' and the name stuck. It was, of course, eventually completed; it served for a long time as Florence's prefettura, and later as its post office. Now it is home to the Museo Nazionale di Antropologia ed Etnologia.

Across the street, the Palazzo Pazzi (begun 1458) is an austere but pleasing, classic Florentine palace, attributed variously to Giuliano da Maiano and Michelozzo. Florentines used to call it the Palazzo della Congiura, the 'Palace of the Plot', since this was the home of the banking family that attempted to assassinate Lorenzo de' Medici in church in 1478—the 'Pazzi Conspiracy', one of the great commotions of Florentine history. The palace was confiscated upon the failure of the plot, and passed through many hands thereafter; today it's government offices.

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Streets and Squares

Text © Dana Facaros & Michael Pauls

Image by Sailko