imposing edifice, one of the most important in Firenze, was commissioned
by Jacopo de' Pazzi and built to the design of Giuliano da Maiano in the
period between 1458-1469. In erecting the building he had a careful eye
for harmony and decoration, as can be seen from the characteristic courtyard
formed by arches with columns adorned with dolphins (the symbol of the
Pazzi family) and vases for the sacred fire, in memory of Pazzino de'
Pazzi who during the first Crusade was the first man to scale the walls
of Jerusalem. He brought back with him from Jerusalem the sacred flint
stones which for centuries have been used in Piazza del Duomo to light
the fuse for the Scoppio del Carro (Explosion of the Cart) ritual on Easter
Also of great interest are the beautiful plant-shoot decorations carved
on the cornices of the external windows of the palace. Other decorative
elements with depictions of sailing vessels were also carved as a reminder
of the importance of the maritime commerce conducted by the Pazzi family.
The famous conspiracy (congiura) to kill Lorenzo the Magnificent was organised
in this palace by the Pazzi family in 1478, in which, however, it was
Lorenzo's brother Giuliano who died. Lorenzo's response was extremely
harsh - after the ringleader Giuliano de' Pazzi had been killed by popular
demand, all the members of the family were exiled and their property and
Over the centuries this palace has been the property of a number of
different families (including the Strozzi) and illustrious figures. It
now house offices of the state pensions and benefits department (INPS).
It is possible to visit the palace on formal request to the Firenze management
of the INPS.
Picture by Sandro Santioli
Translated by Jeremy Carden