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  • Forte Belvedere, Florence.zoom in altra finestra
  • Forte Belvedere, Florence.zoom in altra finestra

Forte Belvedere [Belvedere Fort]

The Fort was built between 1590 and 1595 by Bernardo Buontalenti by order of Ferdinando I de’ Medici to protect the Pitti Palace, situated below, and the southern side of the city. Consisting of a small central building and surrounded by vast ramparts, it is connected to a system of passages, apartments, halls, bridges and gardens (at one time reserved exclusively to the Court) that make it possible to reach the Boboli Garden.

It can be conjectured that, as in the case of the Fortezza da Basso, Benjamin Franklin’s theories on the lightning rod were experimented here. Grand Duke Peter Leopold of Lorraine indeed ordered that all gunpowder warehouses in the main cities of the Grand Duchy should be equipped with large iron rods, entrusting this task to Felice Fontana, one of the protagonists of the debate on electrology in Tuscany.

Today, it is a cultural events venue.


Texts by Antonella Gozzoli

English translation by Victor Beard

Last update 01/feb/2008