The Loggia dei Lanzi, also called the Loggia della Signoria, is a building on a corner of the Piazza della Signoria
, adjoining the Uffizi Gallery
. It consists of wide arches open to the street, three bays wide and one bay deep. The arches rest on clustered pilasters with Corinthian capitals. The wide arches appealed so much to the Florentines, that Michelangelo
even proposed that they should be continued all around the Piazza della Signoria.
The vivacious construction of the Loggia is in stark contrast with the severe architecture of the Palazzo Vecchio
. It is effectively an open-air sculpture gallery of antique and Renaissance art.
The name Loggia dei Lanzi dates back to the reign of Grand
Duke Cosimo I, when it was used to house his formidable landsknechts (In Italian: "Lanzichenecchi", corrupted to Lanzi), or German mercenary pikemen. After the construction of the Uffizi at the rear of the Loggia, the Loggia's roof was modified by Bernardo Buontalenti and became a terrace from which the Medici
princes could watch ceremonies in the piazza.