One of the best-preserved 14th-century palaces in the city is open as a museum dedicated to domestic life in the medieval and Renaissance period—for nobles and the wealthy, at least. It was originally built for the Davizzi family in the mid-1300s, then bought by the Davanzati clan; check out the latter's family tree, dating back to the 1100s, on the wall of the ground-floor courtyard.
The palace's painted wooden ceilings and murals have aged well (even surviving damage during World War II), but the emphasis remains not on the decor but on providing visitors with an insight into medieval life for a noble Florentine family: feasts and festivities in the Sala Madornale; the private, internal well for secure water supply when things got sticky for the family or city; and magnificent bedchamber frescoes dating to the 1350s, which recount, comic-strip style, “The Chatelaine of Vergy,” a 13th-century morality tale.
An interesting footnote: It was a New York auction of furnishings from this palace, in 1916, that helped spread the “Florentine style” in U.S. interior design circles.
- Frommer's Staff