Palazzo Davanzati, also known as the Museum of the Historic Florentine House (Museo della Casa Fiorentina Antica), was inaugurated as a state museum in 1956.
Originally home to the Davizzi, a wealthy family of merchants and bankers, this fourteenth-century palazzo and its impressive façade look out over the adjacent piazza, once populated by medieval case-torri (tower houses).
Constructed in the mid 1300s, Palazzo Davanzati is in fact an amalgamation of these case-torri and other properties belonging to the Davizzi, though it takes its name from another family, the Davanzati, who purchased the building in the late sixteenth century. (Today, the large coat of arms that adorns the façade is the Davanzati’s family crest, added when they acquired the property in 1578.)
The Davanzati inhabited the palazzo until 1838, the year of the tragic death of the family’s last heir, Carlo.
In 1904, Palazzo Davanzati was purchased by the antiquarian Elia Volpi, who inaugurated it as the Museo della Casa Fiorentina Antica in 1910. Deeming the building a stunning example of the ‘Florentine’ taste then much sought after by Italians and foreigners alike, Volpi furnished the house with a mixture of antiques that corresponded to his vision of a noble medieval residence. During the first half of the twentieth century,the Palazzo witnessed a period of uncertainty, marked by a tumultuous series of bankruptcies, purchases, and sales among antique dealers, until it was acquired by the Italian State in the mid 1950s. Furnished with works from the repositories of various Florentine museums, as well as acquisitions and donations, Palazzo Davanzati was reopened as a public museum in 1956, though it retained much of its former character as a reimagination of the medieval Florentine house. Nowadays, Palazzo Davanzati houses a diverse collection of sculptures, paintings, furniture, ceramics, lace, and historic objects of daily use.
The vast entrance loggia leads into a picturesque courtyard that provides access to the upper floors. On each floor, the layout of the rooms is identical: the Sala Madornale, which traces the length of the façade; the drawing room; the study; and the bedroom. Some rooms feature open-beam ceilings and walls painted with faux-tapestry ornamentation, views of gardens, and scenes from literature. These richly adorned interiors, as well as certain details—like the agiamenti (toilets or washrooms) present on all floors, and the third-floor kitchen —illustrate the comforts enjoyed by the noble families who lived in Palazzo Davanzati.
The museum is equipped with access devices for people with disabilities.The sidewalk is connected near the entrance on via Pellicceria. You must notify the staff (no bell available), who will provide a ramp at the entrance: from 12 cm to 6 cm up and down (the raised threshold). The elevator (adequate dimension, door 80cm) leads upstairs, all transitions between rooms have raised thresholds (maximum 6cm) which can be connected with ramps (ask the staff). Restrooms accessible on the ground floor.
Available, by request, is a guide in braille. In the Parrot Room, a table is set up for the tactile program with reproductions of ancient textile and majolicas with captions for blind and visually impaired.
The bookshop is located at the entrance of the Museum. The museum guide is available for purchase in many languages, along with various art publications and items inspired by the works on display.
Tickets are also available for purchase ONLINE: B-Ticket is the only official website authorized by MIBACT for online ticket purchase for the Museo Nazionale del Bargello and its affiliate museums (Museo delle Cappelle Medicee, Museo di Palazzo Davanzati or Museo dell’Antica Casa Fiorentina, Museo di Orsanmichele, and Museo di Casa Martelli)
“Si comunica che quest’Istituto s’impegna per Offrire al pubblico un orario di visita quanto più esteso possibile, nel rispetto dei criteri per l’apertura al pubblico, la vigilanza e la sicurezza dei musei e dei luoghi della cultura statali previsti dal D.M. del 30 giugno 2016, in attesa che vengano espletate le previste procedure concorsuali finalizzate al superamento delle attuali carenze organiche e al conseguente incremento del personale in servizio"