Symbols of Renaissance architecture, Palazzo Strozzi was ideated by Filippo Strozzi, who charged Benedetto da Maiano for its construction. In the original planning, it was a family residence that would be the envy of the Florentine nobility. Its construction began in 1489 and was directed by Simone del Pollaiuolo, but the works were interrupted in 1538 and the palace remained without the southern facade.
Placed in the heart of the city, today the palace seems a fortress. On a rectangular base, there are two floors plus the ground floor, each divided by linear cornices. One of its principle characteristics is the fidelity with the canons of 15th century architecture, which have been respected in the realization of the façade: symmetrical and linear, in stone blocks that are coarse and rough-hewn on the ground floor and become progressively finer with each higher floor.
In the palace there is the Gabinetto Viesseux, the Italian Institute of Human Sciences and the Institute for Renaissance Studies. The decorations of the first floor were designed by Pietro Berti and today form the background for the important exhibits that the Palazzo holds. The first floor is open only for exhibitions, but the ground floor is always open. The palace is, probably, the best example of Renaissance private architecture.