The Pazzi conspiracy (Italian: Congiura dei Pazzi) was a plot by members of the Pazzi family and others (including the pope) to displace the de' Medici family as rulers of Renaissance Florence.
On 26 April 1478 they attempted to assassinate Lorenzo de' Medici and his brother Giuliano de' Medici.
Lorenzo was wounded but survived; Giuliano was killed. The failure of the plot served to strengthen the position of the Medici.
Florence needed to build a real building that would function as a municipality where the priors of the Arts could work and stay, a position born in 1282 to solve the serious problems between magnates and commoners.
The problem was that the building to carry out the function of city hall had to be inserted in an urban axis that guaranteed security and centrality.
The defeat suffered by the Ghibellines in 1266 in Benevento was the perfect premise for the construction of that structure known throughout the world with the name of Palazzo Vecchio and its splendid square, Piazza della Signoria.
Why? The reason is very simple; where now stands Palazzo Vecchio and Piazza della Signoria, before there were the homes of some Ghibelline families that after their defeat, as often happened in the Tuscany of the time, were exiled by the opposing winning side and the buildings were plundered of their wealth and sold or destroyed and razed to the ground.
That to the right of the Palazzo Vecchio entrance door, down, behind the statue of “Hercules” of Bandinelli, there’s a face of a man carved in a stone. There are many legends about this person; it seems that Michelangelo has carved him with his hands behind his back. Other hypothesis say that it is his self-portrait, whilst others that it is the portrait of a gentleman who every time he met Buonarroti engaged him in long and often inappropriate conversations, and while waiting, he carved him on the ashlar of the palace.
Regardless of what the actual explanation is, the self-portrait looks at us with a symbolized Florentine culture.