The Laurentian Library was originally founded to house the collection of manuscripts of Cosimo il Vecchio (1389–1464); it was added to by Lorenzo the Magnificent (1449–1492), who had the idea of building a public library. His nephew Giulio – Pope Clement VII – entrusted the project to Michelangelo Buonarroti. Building work began in 1524 and continued for a decade until Michelangelo’s departure for Rome. The library was opened to the public in 1571.
The monumental sections of Michelangelo’s library are open to the public; from the Ricetto or Vestibule, a staircase leads up to the Reading Room, which has two rows of desks also designed by Michelangelo. The red and white terracotta floor was realized from 1548 onwards; the central section is inlaid with ornamental motifs and symbolic images, repeated on the ceiling, which allude to the Medici dynasty.
Biblioteca Medicea Laurenziana
Piazza di San Lorenzo, 9, 50123 Firenze FI, Italia
The cloister is accessible thanks to a ramp.
The monument area, at the second floor, is not accessible to people in wheelchairs.
The Library is accessible for consulting books subject to authorisation by phone for use of the stair lift (055 2937948; firstname.lastname@example.org).