Palazzo Vecchio was built on the ruins of a theater from the times of the Roman Empire.
Archeological excavations carried out for years by Archaeological Cooperative, under the scientific direction of Superintendence for Archaeological Heritage of Tuscany, revealed an ancient Roman amphitheater was located precisely under what is nowadays, and was during the Renaissance, the heart of Florence, Piazza della Signoria and Palazzo Vecchio.
The discovery was announced during the UNESCO World Forum on Culture and Cultural Industries held in the Tuscan capital October 2-4.
The excavations made it possible to bring back to light ruins of ancient thermal baths and other services related to an outdoor theater designed to accommodate 5,000 spectators. The excavation site will be open to the public.
“The project is of great historical significance because it is the only complex of ancient Roman ruins that can be visited in Florence,” said Dario Nardella, mayor of Florence.
In the Piazza della Signoria area, archeologists reveal, historical evidence dating as far back as 30 and 15 BC, the time when the Roman city of Florentia was founded, can be found.
Videos will be projected on the walls of the excavation site to illustrate the history of the Roman amphitheater and of Palazzo Vecchio.
Tours of the site can be booked in advance for free by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.