Editor: Mike Carioscia
This breathtaking pentagonal fort was built in 1534, during the period of Renaissance. Officially known as the Fortress of San Giovanni Battista, it is strategically located in the north of Florence, one of the historically richest places in Italy.
Made of red bricks and gray stone, the fortress was initially meant to be used for defence by the Medici government, but has now become the central venue for various exhibitions, congresses, concerts and other gatherings, and since 1967, has undergone an array of restoration procedures to serve this purpose. The chief Exhibition Centre in Florence (Palazzo delle Esposizioni) is located in the Fortezza da Basso.
Easy to Travel
One of the major reasons for its popularity happens to be its excellent connections with the heart of the city (all within walking distance), as well as the Florence International Airport (only 4 km) and the central railway station of Santa Maria Novella, not to mention the spacious parking area outside it.
Grandeur You'll Love
The sprawling Fortezza da Basso covers a surface area of 100.000 sq m, and boasts a huge hall. There are some areas of this captivating venue that more or less remain untouched from the period of its construction, except for minor renovations, such as the Monumental Area, also known as the Quartieri Monumentali, and the Polveriera.
Others have been built recently with the sole purpose of making more room for its guests, and these include the Spadolini Pavilion (1977), which is three floors high, and the Cavaniglia Pavilion (1996).
Everything you need
Once inside the venue, the facilities available are impressive – snack bars, a bank, a restaurant, help desks and even first aid counters, all at your service. The area surrounding the main venue has a serene touch to it, and allows its visitors to appreciate the beauty of the city.
Tit bits about history
Interestingly, the fortress has never come under fire in the hundreds of years of its existence, but sure enough was damaged in the 1860s, when many of its walls were taken down to pave way for the city’s infrastructure, considering that Florence had been named as the new capital of Italy.
Some of the events that have taken place in the Fortezza da Basso in the recent past include the Pitti Immagine and the Prato Expo. Every December a carnival of food and ethnic arts is held in the Fortezza. It opens its doors to the public only when an exhibition or any other event is underway, and at the time of conferences or other private affairs, only delegates are allowed entry.
Furnishings and fittings of the venue can be arranged according to the needs of the customer simpy by getting in touch with the Fortezza authorities.
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