Florence is considered to be the place from where the European Renaissance began and the aura is still reminiscent in a great array of architectures and artistic marvels in this historical city and Palazzo Pitti, a grand palace beside the Arno River is a great example of that architectural heritage. This exquisite work of Renaissance period architecture unquestionably demands a place in your Florence tour itinerary. Besides the breathtaking palace architecture there is a great collection of artworks from the Renaissance period that make the place a favorite destination for tourists on their Tour in Florence.
This palace was originally the residence of a Florence banker Luca Pitti and the core palace architecture dates back to 1458, according to the historical accounts. In 1549 the palace was occupied by the Medici family and subsequently it came into the possession of the royal families of Tuscany and Grand Duchy. From this period the palace began to earn its name as a great treasure house of artworks, paintings, royal possessions. Whatever historical glory the palace is associated with had started in this era. In the late 18th century legendary emperor Napoleon took it in his possession and converted it as his Italian headquarters. In 1919 following the wake of democracy all over Europe, King Victor Emanuel III donated the palace to the people of Italy as the symbol of pride for royal heritage and a great collection of magnificent artworks from the Renaissance period. Since then the Palazzo Pitti became an important art gallery of Florence and its door has remained open for public viewing.
It is on the south side of the Arno River and dominates the view from far way with it just a few kilometers from central Florence. Starting from central Florence just from the opposite end of Ponte Vecchio you have to approach Palazzo Pitti. Palazzo Pitti extends to the Boboli garden, another travel attraction for tourists on a Florence holiday.
This stupendous palace has in total 6 large museums exhibiting artworks from different historical and artistic traditions and eras.
The left side of the first floor is occupied by the Palentine gallery and is revered for its breathtaking collection of artworks from the high renaissance and baroque periods. Raphael, Correggio, Rubens, Titian adore the walls and the floors of this gallery and lavish interior royal taste that dates back to the Medici family making it a perfect combination with the works of art. The Gallery of Modern Art which is on the second floor of the Palace mainly exhibits post renaissance period artworks dominated by Italian artists and a few other Europeans. Some of the finest artworks of neo classical and romantic periods are exhibited here that date back to the eighteenth century to early twentieth century.
Besides the great reserve of world famous artworks the palace also boasts of a huge collection of antiques, royal furnishings and array of exquisite delicacies from the royal ancestry. Museo Degli Argenti or The Silver Museum exhibits a rich collection of precious objects and works of art consisting of rock crystal vases, cameos, precious silver objects, clocks, exquisite collection of carpets, etc. For people in their long cherished Florence holidays it is equally interesting to walk besides this erstwhile grandeur of royal heritage. The Porcelain Museum showcases a grand collection of Porcelain objects from different royal eras. The Costume Gallery displays a huge collection of royal costumes from the 16th century to the early 20th century.
The palace extends to the greenery of Boboli gardens which with its royal collection of open air artworks and fountains is considered to be the best among the royal gardens. Some of the finest artistic delights that make tourists flock to this garden include a beautiful amphitheater with Roman basin with Egyptian obelisk, Buontalenti’s Grotto, The Statue of Plenty by Giambologna and Tacca, Fountain of the Ocean by Parigi, Fish Pond of Neptune, etc.
Timing and Tickets
For all the museums and the gardens the timing is the same except that the Boboli garden closes at 4.30 pm in the winter and 7.30 pm in the summer. All the five museums and the garden opens at 8.15 in the morning irrespective of seasons and close at 4.30 pm in the winter or otherwise at 6.30 pm in the evening. A single combined ticket is all that is needed to see all the museums and gardens on the same day. A combined ticket is priced at E 7.00. Only a handful of days the museums are closed in a calendar year are the 1st January, May 1st and 25th December. A few galleries remains closed on Mondays, so it is advisable to avoid planning to visit Palazzo Pitti on Mondays.
Best time to visit
For enjoying the Florence holidays in the most favorable weather, summer is the best time which begins in Mid-August in Italy. But summer is also the busiest tourist season here and so choosing an alternative period like late April or May is not a bad idea since at that time of the year too weather remains pleasant and sunny in summer.