Pitti Palace - Palazzo Pitti, Florence
This place had me cross-eyed after a couple of hours.
The largest museum complex in Florence, Palazzo Pitti comprises at least five different galleries and two gardens. All of them are either in or around a sprawling, 15th-century palace built by Florentine banker Luca Pitti, and occupied successively and for varying lengths of time by members of the Medici dynasty (who doubled the size), the Grand Dukes of Tuscany, Napoleon, and Italian king Victor Emmanuel II.
It has an interesting little connection with Luxembourg Palace in Paris in that Marie de Médicis, second wife of Henri IV and mother of Louis XIII, ordered the design of her French residence to follow that of her birthplace in Florence.
At the core of the complex are the Palatine Gallery and Royal Apartments: 28 and 14 rooms, respectively, in opposing wings of the palace. Palatine is a visual assault of floor-to-ceiling, wall-to-wall paintings in lavishly decorated spaces, some with original Cortona frescoes. Largely amassed by the Medici family, it’s a vast collection including masterworks by Titian, Caravaggio, Raphael (his “Madonna of the Chair" is lovely), Lippi, Rubens, Murillo and others. They’re arranged higgledy-piggledy instead of grouped by style, artist or era so, yep, great bunch of stuff but we crawled out of Room 28 seriously shell-shocked with the apartments and four more galleries still to go.
Royal Apartments: a quick walk through more art and fancy-schmacy furniture
Costume Gallery: a gentle jog by glass cases of funny old clothes
Silver Museum: a fast trot ‘cause all I could think about was having to polish all that hardware
Modern Art Gallery: a dead run towards the nearest exit
At this point we staggered off to the Boboli Gardens and a clutter-free, gilt-free dose of green which I’ll cover in a separate review. In a nutshell? It’s well worth the ticket if you’re an art lover; just don’t try and do the entire complex in one day.
Good things to know:
• I'm reading that many tourists find the ticketing structure confusing so to clarify:
a. Ticket option #1 covers the Royal Apartments, Palatine and Modern Art Galleries but not the gardens or other galleries
b. Ticket option #2 covers Silver, Porcelain and Costume Galleries, Boboli and Bardini Gardens but not the apartments, Palatine or Modern Art Galleries
c. Ticket Option #3 covers the whole shootin’ match EXCEPT during special exhibits, and is good for 3 days so you don't have to cram it all into one.
d. Firenze Cards or Friends of the Uffizi Passes cover entrance fees to all of the museums/gardens
The Carriage Museum is currently closed so ticket structure may change again when its re-opened.
• The price of tickets may change depending on special exhibits
• Hours and closure days vary per museum/gallery so check the website info for each of them when planning your visit
• Most of the galleries are handicapped accessible with just a few areas which are not: see the website (under "info")
• The palace has a cafe, bookshop and restrooms
• Umbrellas, large bags and backpacks must be checked (free)
• Non-flash photography is now allowed (as of July, 2014)
The website can be a little bit of a pain to figure out but with some clicking about, you'll find what you need.
One of the most visited sites on the southern bank of the Arno, The Palazzo Pitti was originally built, following a design by Brunelleschi, as a residence for the banker Luca Pitti, around the middle of fifteenth century, The Medici purchased the building a century later and commisioned Bartolomeo Ammannati to enlarge it.
It houses the private art collections of the Medici family, at the Galleria Palatina ( 8:30am - 6:50pm - Last Admission: 5:30pm )
The Gallery of Modern Art ( 8:30am - 1:50pm -
Last Admission: 12:30pm ) holds over two thousand works providing a panorama of Tuscan art from the 18th to 20th century.
Behind the palazzo you will find the Boboli Gardens - a nice place to relax enjoying beautiful views of the city.
For some reason, Palazzo Pitti doesn't seem to be quite as popular as the museums located on the other side of the Arno River, but if someone were to ask me what to do with only one day in Florence, I wouldn't hesitate to recommend a visit to the Palazzo Pitti and Boboli Gardens. Construction of the palazzo began in 1457. It was built for Luca Pitti, a rich banker who wanted his new home to be bigger and more luxurious than the newly built Palazzo Medici. Unfortunately, Pitti suffered substantial financial losses just a few years after work had begun, and he died before the palace was completed. Ironically, it was the Medici family who bought Palazzo Pitti in 1549 and they saw to it that the palazzo be competed so it could become the new residence of the Grand Duke of Tuscany. In 1919, the King of Italy decided to give Palazzo Pitti to the nation so that it could be turned into a museum. A total of 140 rooms are now divided into 5 different galeries: the Palatine Gallery, the Royal Appartments, the Gallery of Modern Art, the Costume Gallery and the Silver Museum.
The palazzo doesn't necessarily look like much from the outside. The architecture is somewhat simple and austere, almost like that of an office building. However, once you get inside, things are quite different. The 14 rooms that make up the Royal Appartments are beautiful, and the Galleria Palatina presents a collection of over 1000 Renaissance paintings that belonged to the Royal Family, including some great ones by Raphael (look for "Madonna della seggiola" and "La donna velata"), Botticelli, Rubens, Caravaggio and Andrea del Sarto, just to name a few. In each room there is information available in English describing the different works of art and providing historical information about the rooms themselves (for who would not want to see Napoleon's bathroom?!). Finally, although we didn't spend as much time in it, the Galleria d'Arte Moderna was also worth a visit. This museum specializes in Tuscan art from 1794 to 1924 and I thought it was interesting to see how Italian painters were gradually influenced by other European schools after having led the world of art for so long.
There's a combined ticket available for the Galleria Palatina, Royal Appartments and Gallery of Modern Art (12 Euros) - and there's almost no line-up! - but it doesn't give access to the Boboli Gardens.
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.
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.
palazzo pitti was built in 1457 for the banker luca pitti. this massive palace bankrupted the pitti family and they sold the palace to the medicis in 1550. today the palace houses several art galleries and museums. behind the palazzo are the famous boboli gardens. pictured is the la grotta grande, (grotto) which houses vincenzo de rossi's "paris with helen of troy" and giambologna's "venus bathing"
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)
Palazzo Pitti, probably designed by the great Brunelleschi in 1457, is the most imposing palaces in Firenze. In the 16th century the Medici commissioned Ammannati to enlarge it. It is 205 metres long and 36 metres high, consists of rusticated ashlars with some of the single blocks over two metres long. The only decorative elements, on its almost severe facade, are the two crowned heads of lions.
The palace houses now the Palatine Gallery, Moderh Art Gallery and the Museum of Silveware. Galleria Palatina is the second museum in the city and contains works of art extremely important for the history of art. The visitors can admire the works of Raphael, Filippo Lippi, Tizian, Caravaggio, Rubens and many others.
This imposing structure was originally built for Luca Pitti, who was determined to undermine the Medici's by displaying his wealth and power. It was begun in 1457 and was later bought by the Medici family in 1550 when the Pitti heirs were bankrupt. It then became one of the main residences of the Medici's and all of Florence's rulers. Tradition says that the palace was designed by Brunelleschi and built by his pupil Luca Fancelli. The palace was enlarged and altered from 1560. The large courtyard and the two wings, designed by Bartolomeo Ammanati and the complete rearrangement of the gardens.
It is open from 8:30am everyday. It is best to get a combined ticket if you want to visit the gardens and museums.
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!
The Palazzo Pitti was originally built for the banker Luca Pitti. The huge scale of the building, begun in 1457, illustrated Pitt's determination to outrival the Medici family. Ironically, they later purchased the palazzo when building costs bankrupted Pitti's heirs. In 1550 it became the main residence of the Medici, and subsequently all the rulers of the city lived there. Today the richly decorated rooms exhibit treasures from the Medici collections.
This grand palace is home to several museums, Palatine Gallery; Appartamenti Monumentali; Museo degli Argenti; Galleria del Costum and Carriage museum. The entrance to the museums is right in the center of the Palace.
This palace originally was commissioned by Luca Pitti in the 1450s intent on outdoing his arch rivals, the Medici’s, and he created a truly grand palace. Ironically a Medici purchased the place in 1549 when Pitti heirs went broke in large part due to construction costs. The Medici substantially enlarged the palazzo, which then became the official home of Florence's rulers. When Medici bought the Palace they laid out the Boboli Gardens. There you can also venture into the Gardens where you will find rare trees and bushes arranged in geometric patterns an amphitheater, several fountains with sculptures, the orangery, Forte di Belvedere and the Porcelain museum in the Rose garden.
Today along with the Uffizi it houses many treasures of the Medici family bequeathed by the last of the Medici clan, who died in 1743, to Florence. Most of the paintings in the collection of the Palatine Gallery are from Medici collections with paintings by Raphael; Titian; Bartolomeo; Botticelli; Rubens; Tintoretto; Veronese; Caravaggio; Van Dyck; Perugino; Sustermans; Ghirlandaio; Reni; Lippi,; Sodoma; Velazquez and many others. The rooms also have ceilings with frescoes painted by Pietro di Cortona that show the education of Medici by gods. The apartments have all their original wall coverings, tapestries, and beautiful chandeliers of Murano glass. All the rooms also have various tables with inlays of different types and color of wood showing exotic birds and ornaments. Galleria del Costume as its name suggests shows the history of costumes through the time starting with late 18th century and through the 1940’s. It has a very interesting collection that you can easily cover in 10 minutes.
This palace was originally built for the banker Luca Pitti and started in 1457. It is a huge building and it was meant to outrival the Medici family with its show of wealth and power. But the Medici later bought the palace when the cost of building bankrupted the Pitti's heirs. In1550 it was the main Medici residence and after that all the rulers of the city lived there, today lots of the Medici collections are housed there. We were very lucky - quite by chance we decided to visit on the day it was open - free of charge - to the public!
I especially loved the Appartmenti Monumentali. These are the State appartments on the first floor of the south wing of the palace. They were built in the 17th century and are decorated with beautiful frescoes by various Florentine artists. There are some lovely portraits of the Medici by the FLemish painter Justus Sustermans, he worked at the court between 1619 -1681. He had never really heard much about him but his paintings are wonderful.
The Galleria Palatina is also marvellous with some lovely works by Boticelli, Tintoretto and (one of my favourite artists) Titian. The gallery consists of 11 main salons.
There is also the Museo degli Argenti (silverware museum), and costume museum and modern art, but we decided to spend all our time with the paintings this time we visited.
Florence was my city of surprises and Pitti Palace was amongst them. I had visited Palazzo Dulcale when I was in Venice and thought, why not visit Palazzo Pitti?? (Plus, since I had to get reservations for the Accademia and the Uffizzi, I had to spend my first day in Florence productively!!!)
Pitti Palace was erected on the southern bank of the Arno River for the Pitti family. Unfortunately, the banking speculations of Luca Pitti left his family bankrupt and the palace incomplete. When he died in 1472, Elenora of Toledo (Cosimo I's wife) purchased it in 1472 (she didn't like the crampness in Palazzo Vecchio...scandalous!!) Eventually, in 1865, after the unification of Italy, the residence became the royal palace of the Savoy dynasty.
Today, Pitti Palace houses the great collection of art accumulated by the Medici family which includes great works by Tintoretto, Raphael, Rubens, and many more!! They also have a wonderful collection of modern art and historical costumes. What I found most intriguing was the way that the rooms were restored to the grandeur that they were in the time of the Medicis. Their extravagant lifestyle is very apparent!!
When I went to Florence I had no idea of the Pitti Palace or the Baboli Gardens. You can imagen how stunned I felt when I saw the palace when taking one of my walks!
The Pitti Palace was built by the Pitti family, the arc rivals of the Medici family. They wanted to proove their powers and welth by building a bigger palace then the Medicis had. Well their pockets werent deeper then that. They went bankrupt and the Medici family took ownership of the palace. The continued to build it and connected it with the Uffizi, but Uffizi means of course officies and those were the officies of the family. The Ponte Vecchio connected the palace to the offices.
You cant really see that much of the palace. You can see the apartments which are absolutely stunning but I wasnt so impressed. But do take a look at it.
But do not forget to visit the Boboli gardens which are located behind the palace. The gardens are huge and on a good day the heat can be overwhelming to remember to take a bottle. Look at the map before entering. I thought they parked strecthed upwards but it goes down the hill on your right. You have to walk it all, although I didnt because it was too hot and I didnt bring any water!
I hope you have fun!