Piazza della Signoria is an interesting place. First of all, it is huge! Secondly, it contains an interesting array of sculptures (some original, some copies).
The statues on display include a massive statue of Cosimo I on horseback, the Neptune Fountain (which is always in bad light!), and the Loggia dei Lanzi which is named after Cosimo’s bodyguards (Lancers) and contains numerous statues.
One also gains entry to the Palazzo Vecchio’s main entrance through the Piazza del Signoria.
Once upon a time, Michelangelo’s David was placed at the front of the Palazzo Vecchio but it he has long since been moved to the Galleria dell’Accademia (late 1800’s). The “David” on display in front of the Palazzo Vecchio is a copy (there are several copies around town).
The statue on the other side of the entry to the Palazzo Vecchio is “Hercules and Cacus”.
In the Loggia dei Lanzi there is an interesting bronze statue by Cellini of Perseus holding the head of Medusa. The statue was meant to warn Cosimo I’s enemies of what may become of them! A little known fact about this statue, though, is that Cellini put his own face (a self-portrait) on the reverse side of Perseus’ head. It is difficult to see due to the positioning of the statue and the lighting. My l’insegnante pointed this out to us when we were out and about the other afternoon. I had to take the shot through the legs of another statue. I wasn’t trying to be ‘artistic’, it is simply the easiest way to see it!
The photo of the fake David through the legs of the lion is me trying to be artistic 🙂