The history of the Loggia del Pesce begins at the time of Cosimo I de’ Medici: when the route of the Vasari Corridor was designed, there was a need to move the fish merchants, who until then were located at the Lungarno degli Archibusieri, near the Ponte Vecchio.
The loggia was built in 1568 in the area of the Mercato Vecchio and so it was located in a different place than the one it occupies today. In 1889 it was dismantled and rebuilt 66 years later, in 1955.
The structure consists of nine arches arranged in two rows, between one arch and the other there are affixed “rounds” depicting the sea and fishing. Many of the original “rounds” were not able to withstand the impact of demolition and were therefore rebuilt. Among the original components, although restored, there is a shield with the union arms of Francesco I de’ Medici and Joanna of Austria, one with the union arms of Cosimo I and Eleoanor of Toledo, a shield and a sign of the magistrate of Grascia.
In the centre of one of the main facades, a plaque with a Latin inscription celebrates the work “built with greater expense and magnificence” than the old building.
Photo: Sailko – opera propria, CC BY-SA 3.0, bit.ly/2KCfvMJ