Built by Michelozzo in 1444 for the Medici “godfather” Cosimo il Vecchio, this is the prototypical Florentine palazzo, on which the more overbearing Strozzi and Pitti palaces were modeled. It remained the Medici’s private home until Cosimo I officially declared his power as duke by moving to the city’s civic nerve center, the Palazzo Vecchio. Its Cappella dei Magi is the oldest chapel to survive from a private Florentine palace; walls are covered with colorful Benozzo Gozzoli frescoes  (1459–63), classics of the International Gothic style. Rich as tapestries, they depict an extended “Journey of the Magi” to see the Christ child, who’s being adored by Mary in the altarpiece. The third wise man is a flattering portrait of a young Lorenzo the Magnificent. Further highlights of the upper floor include the Sala Luca Giordano, with baroque decor by the Neapolitan painter, and a Filippo Lippi “Madonna.”

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