Fortezza da Basso
One can find the monumental complex of the Fortezza da Basso on the outskirts of Florence.
Now it is the main exhibition center in Florence where International Trade Fairs like the International Craftwork Exhibit, the series of Pitti Immagine events and other important events that find a home in its spacious interior, are held. Built on three floors, the new pavilion that is usually used for these events was designed by architect Pierluigi Spadolini and inaugurated in 1977.
This splendid example of the celebrated Fortresses, built by the Sangallo family, never once attacked, has remained intact to this day.
It dates back to 1534 and was built in record time from a design by the great architect Antonio da Sangallo.
The Fortress, originally known as San Giovanni Battista, named after St. John the Baptist, the Patron Saint of the city, is also an exquisite example of Renaissance architecture.
In the 1800’s the Fortezza was elaborated with the construction of the stable and arms warehouse. Today the entrance is on Viale Filippo Strozzi and is easily reached by an elevated pedestrian walkway.
In 1980 when the square was repaved, substantial remains of many of the buildings that stood here in antiquity were discovered. In addition a great many remains of Roman Florence were found underneath the mediaeval houses, including some thermal baths and a workshop for the dying of cloth. The presence of this type of production shows that, this activity was already playing an extremely important part in the history and economy of the city.