Palazzo Guadagni is an excellent example for a Florentine renaissance palace; it is the second most important building in the Piazza Santo Spirito.
This palace was built in 1502, when the merchant Ranieri di Baldassarre Dei decided to replace some houses of his family with a more imposant building; the palace was based on a project by Cronaca (or perhaps Baccio d'Agnolo). The façade was originally enlivened by the coat of arms of the family (which is today severely damaged and has been transferred in the interior of the palace) and from the typical florentine sgraffito-decoration (white artwork scratched on black plaster); this decoration was an early work of Andrea del Sarto, but had been vastly altered in 1870 and is gone completely lost during an attempt of restoration in 1973.
In 1683 the palace was bought by marquis Guadagni and subsequently, in 1837, by the Dufour Berte family, who mantained the name of Palazzo Guadagni.
Click to enlarge pictures.
At the first floor was located from 1912 to 1964 the German Institute for Art Hitory in Florence; at the ground floor was inaugurated in 1914 the first municipal library in Florence, dedicated to the Florentine literate and pedagogist Pietro Thouar (1809-1861). The library is still existing and has over 20,000 books in its stockings.
In the spotlight
The palace is characterized by the rusticated stone on the façade of the ground floor and from the stone bank around the whole façade; remarkable is also the wrought-iron lantern on the southern corner of the palace: it resembles the one made by Caparra for the façade of Palazzo Strozzi.
Palazzo Guadagni still shows the loggia on the last floor, which was once to be seen also on other palaces in the Square of Santo Spirito.