Pitti Palace & Boboli Gardens, Florence
Since I generally enjoy spending more than a day or two anywhere I travel, I try and see at least one park or garden of the place I'm visiting. While I was in Florence, I didn't have enough time to visit the Pitti Palace, but I did have an hour or two to visit the Boboli gardens which I had read a little bit about.
I've divided up my pages here, because their are different parts to the garden. One enters the garden via the courtyard at the back of the palace, climb a set of stairs and suddenly, the visitor enters what is referred to as the Amfiteatro, or amphiteatre where dramas and classical comedies were performed during the 16th and 17th century for the Medici court.
The space is punctured by the Artichoke Fountain and the Obelisk, and the wide perimetre surrounded by classical statues. One continues walking straight up to the Forcone Basin where is located the Fountain of Neptune made by Soldo Lorenzi in 1571. This is where I took my first break and luckily, found a bit of shade where to sit and watch the world pass by...
Admittance time. Weekdays: January, February, November and December: 8.15 am – 4.30 pm; March: 8.15 am – 5.30 pm; April, May, September, October: 8.15 am – 6.30 pm; October: 8.15am - 5.30pm: closing time one hour earlier at the end of E.U. summer time; June, July, August: 8.15 – 7.30 pm; the ticket office closes one hour before the garden closing time.
Holidays: January, February, November and December: 8.15 am – 4.30 pm; March: 8.15 am – 5.30 pm; April, May, September, October: 8.15 am – 6.30 pm; October: 8.15am - 5.30pm: closing time one hour earlier at the end of E.U. summer time; June, July, August: 8.15 – 7.30 pm; the ticket office closes one hour before the garden closing time.
Closed on: first and last Monday of every month. December 25, January 1, May 1. -
Entrance: € 7,00; € 10,00 from 22nd December 2007 to 27th April 2008. Combined ticket Silver Museum, Costume Gallery, Porcellaine Museum, Bardini Gardens.When there are no exhibitions: € 11,50 combined ticket Pitti Palace Museums; € 9,00 after 4.00 pm entrance to the Palatine Gallery.
The palace dates back to 1458, and was the residence of Luca Pitti, a wealthy banker. The Medici family bought it in 1549, and stayed here for many years. Napoleon used as a residence in the French occupation. In 1919, it was donated to the public for tours by Victor Emmanuel when the Revolution took place. It still is a large monument today. Tours inside are around 6-10 Euro depending on the length and what to see. The gardens are 8 Euro to enter.
Built in 1458 by the Pitti Family and purchased by the medici in 1549, it remained a palce to the Royalty of Florence and Italy through the unification until it was presented to the nation in 1919 by King Victor Emmanuel III.
The palace actually houses several museums. The Palatine Gallery is the core of the collections and contains works by Italian and some foreign artists. The Costume Gallery focuses on costume from the 16th Century through the present. The Royal Apartments feature art and are as they were largely from the 17th to 19th Centuries. There are a couple of less significant museums as well.
Adjacent to the Pitti Palace are the Boboli Gardens. One can find statuary, rose gardens and pleasant paths to stroll, all in a quiet corner of the city, away from the crowds. Seperate tickets are required for the Palatine, the Royal Apartments and Costume Gallery as well as the Boboli Gardens. Advance reservations may be needed during peak season as it can get busy.
In the afternoon, we went to Pitti Palace which was very nice. Our son once again picked out his favorites, Rafael's Madonna of the Chair and Magdalene Doni (ummm pretty good taste for an 8 year old, wonder where he gets that from?). We should have gone to the garden, but we didn't. So we didn't get to see the fat man on a tortoise, although we bought a postcard of it.
This palace was built for the banker Luca Pitti in the second half of the ‘400. Probably it was designed by Filippo Brunelleschi. Eleonor of Toledo; wife of Cosimo I, duke of Florence bought it in 1550. They lived there after they moved from Palazzo Vecchio. The House of Lorraine lived there from 1737 to 1859; with a a break of about 15 years (from 1799 to 1814) when Tuscany was dominated by Napoleon. On the 27 april 1859, Tuscany joined the Kingdom of Italy, so the palace became property by Savoia family.
Pitti Palace houses various museums. I visited the Palatine Gallery; the Royal Apartments the Gallery of Modern Art, the Silver Museum and the Costumes Gallery.
Boboli Gardens were built between XV and XIV centuries. It is situated beyond Palazzo Pitti. This huge green area is the right place to have a pic nic or to have a rest after your visit to the palace.
Palazzo Pitti was built in the middle of '400 by Luca Fancelli, on demand of Luca Pitti, who wanted to show his power in front of the Family of Medici, building a magnificent Palace.
When the Pitti Family fell in misfortune, Cosimo I de' Medici bought the Palace, in 1549, and Palazzo Pitti became the Medici Family residence.
The Palace was enlarged, on Bartolomeo Ammannati's plan, and has changed until 1600.
The Pitti Palace rises on a big semicircular square. Today it hosts many important Florentine museums, such as: the Palatina Gallery (with Raffaello, Andrea del Sarto, Caravaggio, Bronzino masterpieces and more), the Silver Museum, the Modern Art Gallery and the Customes Gallery.
The Pitti Palace is famous also for its gardens: the Boboli gardens, carried out on 1549 by Bartolomeo Ammannati and, later, by Bernardo Buontalenti, on demand of Cosimo I.Opening Days: From Tuesday to Sunday
Opening Hours: From 8.15 to 18.50
Price: Up to EUR €20,50 per person
Guided Visit - Price per person: Starting from EUR €29 per person
Guided Visit - Price per group: Starting from EUR €270
Pitti Palace is situated in the left bank of Arno river, between piazza Pitti and Boboli Gardens. The palace was built originally as residence by banker Luca Pitti who ordered the project to Brunelleschi, and begun its works in 1440. The palace was built by Medici family in 1539 as official residence of the Grand Duchy of Tuscany. In XIXc, the palace was used as miltar base by Napoleon I, and then for a short time was used as official residence of the Kings of Italy.
Ticket: 12 euros
El palacio Pitti está situado en la orilla izquierda del Arno, entre la plaza Pitti y los jardines Boboli fue construido originalmente como residencia para el banquero Luca Pitti,que encargó el proyecto a Brunelleschi, que inició sus obras en 1440. Fue comprado por la familia Médicis en 1539 como residencia oficial de los Grandes Duques de la Toscana. En el siglo XIX, el palacio fue usado como base militar por Napoleón I, y luego sirvió, durante un corto periodo de tiempo, como residencia oficial de los Reyes de Italia.
Ticket: 12 euros y no incluye los jardines del boboli, hay que comprar otra entrada.
If you cross the river Arno on Ponte Vecchio, you reach the Palazzo Pitti, the Renaissance palace of the Pittis, the rivals of the Medici family.
Galleria Palatina, one of six museums of the Palazzo Pitti, locates in the right corner of the inner yard, in the left wing of the first floor of the building. For the lovers of Raphael there is a room with more than ten paintings from him, but Caravaggio and Rubens are presented too. However, contrary to the Uffizis displaying of the pictures does not take place in chronological order, but on the basis of decorative point of view, in order to protect the original character of the collection.
But my intention was only, to look one of my favourite paintigs: "L'uomo dagli occhi grigi" (“The grey-eyed man” aka “The Englishman”) by Tiziano. In the bookshop at the entrance I have bought the book of "The Great Masters of Italian Art" with the grey-eyed man on the cover. Then enter the room, and next to the door, on the left, there he is.
It appears strange, because of the exceptionally living depiction of the man, who can be seen on the painting, that we do not know anything from his identity. The researchers put more proposals onto the solution of the secret during the past centuries. There were many of them, who were looking for the model between the leading persons of the age, while others thought of the Duke of Norfolk, but there is nobody, who would have managed to solve the secret of the person, who look at you with his grey eye.
A visit here is highly recommended. You can look around in the open-air museum disguised as a garden, but it costs some more euros.
The Palazzo Pitti was built back in the 1500's by a rich merchant Luca Pitti, who also happened to be an adversary of the Medici family. It is a splendid palazzo, with attached gardens and wonderful views of Florence. The irony of the palazzo is that it eventually fell into the hands of the Medici's, who transformed it into the present day palace and museum.
You can tour the palace and the gardens. There are many pieces of artwork, as well as the architectural aspects to hold ones interest. Out back, you can walk up through the gardens and enjoy the fountain and the great views of Florence.
The Boboli Gardens (Giardino di Boboli) are rich and extravagant pleasure-gardens with large expanses to explore, and photogenic views over Florence. Designed by the Grand Dukes as a venue for extravagant parties and celebrations, the garden is dotted with statuary, fountains and a variety of features commissioned specially, or taken from the fabulous Medici art collections. The Boboli Gardens spread over the steep hillside behind the vast Pitti Palace, over the Arno from central Florence.
This rare green oasis close to the centre of Florence is a great place to relax, picnic and dodge the crowds, especially on a hot day, when the shady walkways and fountains are cool and refreshing. There are plenty of good picnic spots, so visitors may wish to come prepared with food and drink.
Among the highlights are a lake with an ornamental island garden at its centre (just begging to be a banquet venue), a variety of wooded hillside pathways, the central water features in a green amphitheatre facing the palace, and the Neptune Fountain. The grandest of the Boboli's grottos is the spectacular Grotta di Buontalenti: peering through the bars at the entrance you can see three successive 'caves' festooned with decorations, ornamental stalagtites, and sculptures by Michelangelo (now replaced by copies) and Giambologna.
One of the most charming parts of the garden is to be found at the highest level: a little formal garden, laid out on a vantage point with lovely views over vineyards, olive groves and villas. The casino, or summerhouse, up here contains a small museum of porcelain.
The gardens cover a lot of ground. There are entrances through the main Pitti Palace courtyard, on Via Romana, and by the Porta Romana. The gardens lack amenities, but toilets and refreshments (if you haven't brought your own snacks) can be found in the Pitti Palace courtyard. The Kaffeehaus, an attractive 18th-century pavilion in the garden overlooking the Florentine panorama, should be open as a cafe (but hasn't been on our visits).
Full price entry to the Boboli Gardens costs €4, and includes entrance to the Museo degli Argenti and the Museo delle Porcellane (silver and porcelain museums). Like the other state museums, admission is free to EU citizens over 65 and under 18, and reduced for those aged 18-25. There are also various combined tickets available.
We only had a day in Florence on a cruise and having studied Art History I was dying to go to the Uffizi Gallery but our bus guide said the queues would be so massive we wouldnt see anything else so she told us to go to the Pitti Palace which had a huge private collection and you could also see the rooms of the Palace which are incredibly ornate - not unlike the Vatican Museum.
Off we went and it was great - about €10 in and you could spend a long time gazing at all the art. If your not into art then don't go as there isn't anything else to do. We didnt have time to go to the gardens but apparently they are lovely too. It gave us a feel of real Florentine art but didnt use up our whole day.
In Florence, there's SO much to choose from, especially where museums are concerned. Luckily, during my Art History classes, we visited just about every museum and church in the city, so I can comment based on that.
The Galleria Palatina in the Palazzo Pitti is my favorite museum in the city . . .it is smaller than the Uffizi but has some fantastic pieces as well. Plus, some of the rooms have been maintained and appear as they were as bedrooms, etc. during the end of the Medici era.
In the gardens, you'll find fountains, views and statues galore. There's usually some renovation going on, but there are acres and acres to walk. It's the perfect retreat from the city on a nice day.
Tickets for both are to the right as you face the front of the building. When I was there in March 2008, the prices for admission had just been almost doubled. I believe that a ticket for the museum and gardens was 21 euro. Update your guidebooks!
This beautiful Palace houses great treausres and the complex itself includes Giardino di Boboli/Boboli Gardens and Forte di Belvedere/Fort Belvedere.
- Third pic: La Sala Bianca/The White Room.
- Last pic: Forte di Belvedere/Fort Belvedere.
Where to start in the central city of the Reneissance? There is so much art, history, culture that I expect years would not be enough to see everything. Most people have heard of the famous Uffizi Gallery and the treasures there. However, I think that for a person who has only a general appreciation of art, it can be too overwhelming and just too much to take in, at once. That's why I think that starting at the Pitti Palace is a great way to go, as a less confronting art museum because it combines tremendous art with the more "touristy" viewing of the various palace apartments.
The Pitti Palace Palatine Gallery houses major works by renowned artist of the 15th to 18th century. There are works by Titian, Rubens, Raphael, Botticelli, Bertolini to name a few. My personal favourite was a work by Titian, Portrait of a man(The grey eyed nobleman or Englishman. It is the most amazing portrait and it's memory is my momento from the Pitti Palace. The view of Florence is not bad either.
Once you are done with Palazzo Pitti, a walk in the gardens is a must. Depending on a weather on how much time you have, it may take you an hour or more. Main walk is up the hill through various gardens and statues, then of course there are other various paths around it.