Short technical sheet
Full technical sheet
The Palazzo dei Congressi is housed in the nineteenth century Villa Vittoria which the Strozzi family from Mantova had built between 1880 and 1914 and which was completed in 1931 when it was passed over to the Contini-Bonacossi family. In 1964 the Villa was purchased by the Azienda Autonoma di Turismo (the tourism board) whose intention was that it should become Florence’s convention centre. The renovation project was commissioned to Architect Pierluigi Spadolini. There were various difficulties to overcome in order to maintain the villa and garden in compliance with the Fine Arts protection laws.
The work finished in 1969 (already in 1966 the ground floor rooms began to host conferences) and was celebrated with the grand opening of the entire conference centre.
The Palazzo dei Congressi is one of the most important and well-equipped facilities for conferences and events in central Italy. It also enjoys a privileged position in the heart of the city in the shopping, hotel and monumental area, in the immediate vicinity of the railway station and the airport terminal and just a few kilometres away from the motorway junctions.
Feature of the complex is that it has managed to blend into a homogeneous whole rooms set up with Florentine furniture and antiques with modern design and functional rooms. Despite the renovation work, the first floor remained as it was with monumental panelled ceilings, hand carved walnut doors decorated with patterns from drawings by Cosimo Feltrini and del Vasari and their frames sculpted and inlaid with coloured marbles. The large auditorium, capable of 1,000 seats, is also a perfect concert hall. Congress Palace also has a hall with 200 seats (Green Room) and other 12 rooms from 30 to 80 seats, in addition to 920 square meters of exhibition space and catering. The structure is located in a historic garden, a few minutes walk from major hotels and most famous monuments of the city.