Pitti Palace & Boboli Gardens, Florence
Palace's location is a short walk from the Ponte Vecchio. Originally owned by Luca Pitti, banker. Then sold to Medici family and became residence of the ruling families of of Tuscany. Contains great number of paintings, plates, jewellery annd luxurious possessions.
Get there early, because they do close sometime after 3 or 4 and it's better to avoid the lines. The ticket is sold either just for the palace visit or combined with the gardens, which I do recommend to see.
Dominating Piazza Pitti, Florence's largest palace, Palazzo Pitti, was designed by Brunelleschi for the Pitti family, rivals of the more famous Medici clan. Not ones to be outdone in anything, the Medicis later usurped the palace for themselves.
Today the building's Palatine Gallery (Galleria Palatina) houses much of the Medicis' huge collection of art, with works by Raphael, Rubens, Tintoretto, Titian and Veronese on display in sumptuous rooms. Open: Tue-Sun 08h15-18h50. Admission: EUR6.50 (fees increase during special exhibitions).
The palace also contains a gallery of Modern Art, an intriguing costume collection and an exhibition of luxury artefacts misleadingly known as the Museo degli Argenti ("Museum of Silverware").
Boboli Gardens is probably where you can just relax and take a walk if you are tired of the small streets of Firenze... Built inside the Pitti Palace - it's 6euro to enter. There is a souvenir shop inside.
The Pitti Palace was home to the Medici Granddukes until the last member died in 1743.
Today the palace is state owned and has several museums within, the Palatine Gallery, Museum of Silverworks and Vases, the Museum of Modern Art and more.
The Boboli Gardens are typically Italian and date back to the 16th century. Situated on a hill one can look from the palace and view a vaste amount of the estate, a spectacular scene.
Giardino di Boboli/Boboli Gardens.
This beutiful garden is just behind Palazzo Pitti/Pitti Palace, and the problem is the price you have to pay: 9,00 € in '07.
- Second pic: The Anphitheatre.
- Third pic: Fontana/Fountain del Forcone.
- Fourth pic: Statua/Statue della Dovizia.
The Palazzo Pitti was constructed in a "keep up with the Joneses" competition between the Pitti family and their rivals the Medicis. The house was begun in 1458 under the direction of one of Florence's most famous architects, Brunelleschi. The house was eventual purchased by the Medicis, after Cosimo I's wife Eleonora insisted on living somewhere other than Palazzo Vecchio in 1549. She embarked on an expansion plan that was completed almost three centuries later in 1839 (she was, obviously, dead long before the final touches). The house was inhabited by various dukes and nobles until Florence became the provisional capital of the Italian Kingdom in 1865, at which point it was inhabited by the Savoy royal family (now in exile in Switzerland), who donated the house to the state in 1919. Today, Palazzo Pitti is the seat of five different museums: Galleria Palatina (painting from the 16th to 18th centuries, inlcuding works by Botticelli, Lippi, del Sarto and Raphael); Museo delle Porcellane; Museo degli Argenti; Galleria d'Arte Moderna (includes Galleria del Costume; and Museu delle Carrozze (for those who like things drawn by horses). You can also acces the Boboli Garden from the Palazzo Pitti.
There are two gardens connected with the Pitti Palace. Both are included with the Grand Ducal Treasures Tickets. The Boboli Gardens were far less visited due to the fact they are not directly connected to the main complex. But they offered a quiet breezy retreat from the Florentine heat. I honestly enjoyed them more than the Bardini Gardens for the shear facts there was more trees, it was cooler with the breeze, the views were better, it was quieters, and it was far more green and lush. You have to exit the Bardini Gardens and go up hill, follow the signs to the Garden. You can reenter the Bardini Gardens after you have visited the Boboli Garden. The Bardini Gardens are vast, with mazes of hedgerows. Lots of lemons, smaller museums and exhibits as well as fountains. A creepy fat man statue riding a turtle, statues, flowers. They had a lovely gardens history exhibit including some remakes of gardens they would have had at pompei.
When visiting the Boboli Garden, be sure and follow the signs to the grotto. Mythical creatures emerge from drippy cave outcroppings (imagine Davy Jones' encrusted crew in Pirates of the Carribean). Truly unique.
I was so wowed by the Tivoli Gardens outside of Rome that I couldn't wait to see the Boboli Gardens. Truthfully, I was underwhelmed. Granted I didn't have a guide book with me, but nothing was marked and it seemed we went in circles and there was ALOT of walking - all uphill! Wish we had done the Pitti Palace instead. However - there was some wonderful architecture.
Behind the 'Palazzo Pitti' there is the 'Giardino di Boboli', with the 'Fontana del Baco'. This fountain's sculpture represents Boboli (the Cosme I de Medici Court’s dwarf) mounted on a turtle.
Concerts are performed here every year in May.
Palazzo Pitti is one of the most important palaces in Florence.
It houses three museums: the 'Galleria Palatina', the 'Museo degli Argenti' and the 'Galleria d’Arte Moderna'.
In the 'Galleria Palatina' you can find the works of Tiziano, Rubens, Van Dyck, Raphael and Fra Filippo, among others. In the 'Museo degli Argenti' there is a huge collection of old vases, jewels, ivory, silver and gold works of the Medici Family. In the 'Galleria d’Arte Moderna' you can find a vast collection of Italian art of the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries.
The Palazzo Pitti was constructed in 1450. Luca Pitti, the local rival of the Medici family, ordered its construction. A century later, in 1549, the palace was purchased by the Medicis.
Apr-May & Sep-Oct 8:15am-6:30pm
Put comfortable shoes, take bottle of water and snack.... you may take a book as well. It's so pleasant and easy to spend the whole day in Boboli gardens. You can find groups of people relaxing, eating, walking, etc.
The Pizzi Palace is a magnificent building, dating back to 1458 and packed full of treasures. It was once the official residence of the Medici family and many of their belongings can still be seen. The vast building now consists of Royal Apartments, a silver museum, a porcelain museum, a costume museum, a carriage museum and two large art galleries.
Then, if you need a break from culture, the gardens of the palace (Boboli Gardens) stretch out behind it and lead up to a terrace, from where you get a magnificent view of the Tuscan countryside. Throughout the gardens are sculptures and fountains and it's a lovely place to be on a sunny day.
You need an entire day to see everything everything.
(There is too much to describe in detail and unfortunately, the official website is in Italian only and seems to be out of date but Wikipedia has a lot of information here - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Palazzo_Pitti)
In addition to the Uffizi, Florence has other world-class museums:
The Bargello concentrates on sculpture, containing many priceless works of art created by such sculptors as Donatello, Giambologna and Michelangelo.
The Accademia dell'Arte del Disegno collection's highlights are Michelangelo's David and his unfinished Slaves.
Across the Arno is the huge Pitti Palace lavishly decorated with the Medici family's former private collection. Adjoininh the Palce are the Boboli Gardens.
The elaborate Santa Croce church contains the monumental tombs of Galileo, Micehlangelo, Machiavelli, Dante and many other notables.
Other important basilicas in Florence include Santa Maria Novella, San Lorenzo, Santo Spirito and the Orsanmichele.
I liked the Boboli gardens as a nice diversion from the standard look-sees. The gardens were fun to walk through. There were a lot of steps as well, just enough to get a good work out in! what a benefit! ha ha.