For several weeks now, the Loggia dei Lanzi in Piazza della Signoria has no longer been accessible freely, as entrance has been limited to small groups of people at a time.
Why? This change follows the latest episode of vandalism which occurred at the beginning of June, damaging one of the statues housed in the Loggia. This time (and we underline that it is not the first time this has happened), the “victim” has been the statue of the “Rape of Polyxena”, the imposing sculpture by Pio Fedi. Being just the last in a series of acts of vandalism in the last few years, the city decided it was time to try something new.
For now, the decision has been made to offer limited access during the day and to close it completely at night. From 11am to 5pm, generally the most crowded hours in the square, entrance to the Loggia dei Lanzi is now controlled by a supervisor who has the duty to allow entrance up to 50 people at a time, blocking the flow with a rope, and to limit the duration of the visit to 15 minutes.
The Loggia is now open from 8am to 7pm daily. This means there is no limit to your visit between 8am and 11am and between 5pm and 7pm, but after that time, no one can now enjoy the evening sitting by the statues as the city winds down for the evening and dinner. A real pity!
Some signs have been placed on the sides of the stairs of the Loggia to explain the new regulation to tourists but, as you can imagine, are certainly not prepared for the limit. All printed travel guides do not yet have this information on hand!
The new rules are, at the moment, a trial run but it is likely that they will become permanent if effective.
My hope is that the new rules will completely discourage any more acts of vandalism to the artworks in the Loggia dei Lanzi, hoping people come to appreciate those and all of the artistic heritage Florence offers the world and its visitors. Only in the most recent weeks, someone has written in market on the facade of the Duomo!! And another tourist urinated at the top of Brunelleschi’s Dome!
What about civility, decency and just plain good manners ?!
About Cristina Romeo
Born in Florence at the end of the fabulous '70s, Cristina has always lived in the famous "cradle of the Renaissance". She's in love with her homeland, but also enjoys traveling and discovering new places. Cristina is mum to a lovely little girl, to whom she hopes to pass on all the passion and love of our precious, wonderful Tuscany.