The Palazzo Medici Riccardi; open Tue-Thur 9 am-7 pm; admission ticket €4) is off the Church of San Lorenzo. The great palace is an example of the beginning of Renaissance palatial style with each floor distinguished from the others by a large cornice crowning the top. The architectural style of this palace influenced the way later palaces were built and decorated.
The chapel is home to a series of Benozzo Gozzoli wall paintings, including The Angel in Adoration and The Journey of the Magi. It is possible to spot some members of the Medici as well as Benozzo himself in The Journey of the Magi. The Medici started living in the palazzo in 1460 when it was finished. It underwent modification in the first half of the 16th century. Originally it was the living place of Cosimo de Medici, however the residence was later the living place of other less important members of the Medici until it was bought by Marquises Gabriello and Francesco Riccardi.
Luca Giordano was commissioned to embellish the library of the Palazzo Medici-Riccardi which is off the Gallery of Luca Giordano. For over three centuries now this library has been regarded as the most enchanting, well-kept, and exclusive library in the country. The Biblioteca Riccardiana preserves letters by public men, manuscripts, historic, and political documents, documents signed by Petrarca, Boccaccio, Savonarola, Alberti, Ficino, Poliziano and Pico della Mirándola, illuminated códices, and incunabula.
When Florence became capital of the Kingdom of Italy, the palace became the seat of the Ministry of the Interior. It was also the seat of Florence’s Prefecture. At present it is seat of the Provincial Council. Now the courtyard, the chapel, and the Gallery of Luca Giordano are available to the public. Next to these is a new wing where ancient statues and objects are exhibited. The palace is venue of major art exhibitions.