Then wake up at the crack of dawn and head to the Palazzo Vecchio, where 50 people will be allowed to view the archaeological dig in progress underneath the storied building. It’s like a club sandwich of Florentine history on display for you and 98 other eyes.
Visitors enter through a side door of the Palazzo, where a copy of the statue of David sits in front. They enter a cavernous room, where there’s a series of trenches, metres deep, and criss-crossed by wooden planks.
Archaeologists have spent the past few years unearthing the remains of an ancient Roman theatre — known as the Commune — discovering how the city evolved over 2,000 years.
“The Palazzo Vecchio has preserved all of the structures, whether Roman, medieval and even up to the renaissance, in its foundations,” says archeologist Lorenzo Spezzi, who has been working at the site since 2004.
“Here you see all of the ages of the city, from its establishment to the renaissance. That’s the wonderful thing about this area. You see, even from one room, the evolution of the city of Florence.”
The Commune was one of the first structures built after the Romans settled the town and was in continuous use for the 500-600 years. Then there’s a medieval street, complete with cesspit and all the facades of the buildings lining it still intact.
The dig is scheduled to be finished in a few months. After that, the city is planning to make available a permanent guided tour of the site.