Soaring to a height of 95 metres (312 feet), the medieval Torre del Arnolfo (Palazzo Vecchio) is the tallest tower in Florence. And until the erection of the cupola of the Duomo, in the first half of the 15th century, it was the tallest structure in the entire city.
The tower is crowned with a weather-vane, which takes the form of a gilded lion, one of the emblems of the city. It is a copy (in gilded fibre-glass) of the original gilded copper lion, which was first placed at the top of the tower in 1453 (and is now to be found inside the Palazzo Vecchio).
The weather-vane gave rise to the saying: “Quando il leone piscia in Arno, è acqua.” (When the lion pees in the Arno, there will be rain). In other words, when the lion faces the river it is a sign that rain is in the offing.