L'importuno, the hidden Michelangelo

Hidden gems Florence

As everyone knows there are many works by Michelangelo in Florence: the David at Accademia, the sculptures of Medici Chapels, Tondo Doni at Uffizi  just to name a few. And in Piazza della Signoria, right in front of the entrance to the Old Palace, stands a perfect copy of his gigantic David.

But only few know that there may be a hidden Michelangelo’s work just nearby, perfectly conserved on a brick stone of Palazzo Vecchio.

Behind the statue of Hercules and Caco by Baccio Bandinelli, on the right side of the entrance of Palazzo Vecchio, if you look the bricks on the right, towards the corner, almost at ground level, you will see the profile of a man, roughly carved in the stone.

A legend says that Michelangelo, when walking through the square on his way to create one its masterpieces, was often stopped by a lunatic man with nonsense chatters.

So one day Michelangelo, standing by the wall of Palazzo Vecchio, bored and pretending to listen to the man, made with his chisel the portrait of this annoying person with his hands behind his back. After many centuries the figure is still there and is known as the importuno, the annoying one.
As with all legends is hard to know where the truth really is, but when you are on your way to the Uffizi Gallery you may want to look yourself if the portrait could really have been made by Michelangelo.