The Fortress da Basso, designed by Antonio da Sangallo the Young with the help of Pier Francesco da Viterbo, is a gigantic structure built at the limits of the medieval city, nowadays used to welcome the most important exhibitions of the city of Florence.
The huge structure with a pentagonal map, splendid example of Renaissance architecture, is characterised by the large bastions inside which are disseminated turrets, narrow galleries, traverses and hidden pathways.
The Fortress da Basso, also called Fortress of San Giovanni Battista in the honour of the Saint protector of Florence, has in the facade of the building studded facetted fins with spherical rocks, that could be connected to the stemmas of the principals: the family of the Medici. The castle was realised in only one year, between 1533 and 1534 after Christ, during the period when on the political scene the figure of the Duke Alessandro was imposing himself and the family of the Medici was coming back to lead Florence.
Nowadays the Fortress of Basso welcomes the most prestigious exhibitions of the city of Florence, from the "Florence Gift Mart" to "EuroCamper", from "Pitti Pictures" to the "Fair of the Convention Tourism", from the "Exhibition International Market of Handicraft" to "Prato Expo".
To increase the exhibition offer, in the middle of the large internal square, in 1977 a large pavilion with three floors has been inaugurated, built on the design of the architect Pierluigi Spadolini, which remains surrounded by the restored historic buildings of Palazzo of the Nations of the Lorenese Theatre and of the Arsenal.