Cosimo I’s contributions to the city of Florence and the wider region are endless. For this reason, Florence is hosting a series of initiatives that will touch on the many aspects and characteristics of the clever and courageous son of the condottiero Giovanni dalle Bande Nere in commemoration of the 500th anniversary of the birth of the first Grand Duke of Tuscany. A series of talks and theatre performances are among the planned events held at none other than the Uffizi Gallery, designed for the Grand Duke by court architect Giorgio Vasari, as well as three exhibitions as part of the Tribute to Cosimo I, running from June 6 to September 29. The first exhibition, The Prince’s 100 Lances, held in the Sale di Levante overlooking the Arno River, presents the history of the halberd-wielding Florentine militia and their unremitting loyalty for the Medici family till the end of their dynasty in the 18th century. At Palazzo Pitti, once the home of Cosimo’s wife, Eleanor of Toledo, the exhibition Weaving a Biography. The Tapestries in Honour of Cosimo I in the Sala Bianca and Sala delle Nicchie showcases eight Medici-era tapestries designed by court tapestry maker, Pietro Févère, that depict the Grand Duke’s most notable moments. The third exhibition, also held in the Sala delle Nicchie, features what was probably the first sculpture commissioned for the Boboli Gardens, The Peasant and His Barrel by sculptor Giovanni di Paolo Fancelli, based on designs by master Baccio Bandinelli.