Discover the grand Palazzo Pitti of Florence

Palazzo Pitti (Pitti Palace) was built in 1549 as the residence of banker Luca Pitti. Later acquired by the Medici family, the Renaissance gem became the primary residence of the ruling families of the Grand Duchy of Tuscany. Situated on the south...

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Palazzo Pitti

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Founded By

Luca Pitti

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2 hours




0-30 mins (Peak), 1-2 hours (Off Peak)

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Did you know?

Pitti Palace was originally commissioned by Luca Pitti, an ambitious Florentine banker, as a challenge to the Medici family. At the time of construction around 1440, it was the largest and most impressive private residence in the city of Florence, also the first with square in front.

Pitti Palace and the Uffizi Gallery are linked by the Vasari Corridor, a secret passageway built by Vasari for the Medici family to move discreetly between the two buildings, creating a special connection between Florence's iconic landmarks.

The Palace served as a power base for Napoleon. He was received by Grand Duke Ferdinand III in 1796. Later, it became the principal royal palace when Florence was briefly the capital of the newly united Italy from 1865 to 1871.

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Pitti Palace & Palatine Gallery, Boboli & Bardini Gardens Skip-the-Line Tickets
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Medici's Mile Guided Walking Tour with Pitti Palace Tickets
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Florence 5-Day Pass: Uffizi Gallery, Pitti Palace & Boboli Gardens Tickets
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Pitti Palace and Palatine Gallery Skip-the-Line Guided Tour
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Museum & galleries in Palazzo Pitti

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palazzo pitti interior

Imperial and Royal Apartments

A suite of 14 rooms in total where the Medici family lived, the Royal Apartments make for a fascinating visit. The apartments have been furnished from the Medici era which was as late as the 19th century. From beautiful collectibles and many varieties of antique furniture like the 4 poster beds, there’s much to be seen here. The apartments also housed Medici portraits created by Giusto Sustermans.

Palazzo Pitti

Treasury of the Grand Dukes

Also known as the Silver Museum, the Treasury of the Grand Dukes features rooms that were originally used as the Medici family’s summer apartments. The gallery is also home to the Medici’s Treasure, a collection of semi-precious stone vases, ambers, ivories, and rock crystals. One entire section of the museum is dedicated to showcasing contemporary jewelry along with collections from the 17th and 19th century.

Palazzo Pitti

Gallery of Modern Art

Originating from the remodel of 1748 Florentine academy, the Gallery of Modern Art features a fabulous collection of paintings and sculptures from the 19th century and the 20th century. While there are numerous historical paintings in the gallery, amongst the most iconic are the famous landscapes of the Maremma area by Giovanni Fattori, considered amongst the most important artists of the Macchiaioli movement.

Museum of Costume and Fashion palazzo pitti

Museum of Costume and Fashion

Formerly known as the Costume Gallery, the Museum of Costume and Fashion is located in the Palazzina della Meridiana adjacent to the Pitti Palace’s southern wing. Work on the museum began under Grand Duke of Tuscany Peter Leopold in 1776 and was completed much later in 1830 by Pasquale Poccianti under Grand Duke Leopold II. The museum building is named after the astronomical instrument created by Vincenzo Viviani in 1699. The instrument can be seen in the vestibule of Grand Prince Ferdinando de’ Medici’s apartment.

Brief Palazzo Pitti history

  • 15th Century: Luca Pitti, a Florentine merchant, commissions the construction of Palazzo Pitti as his private residence, which remains unfinished at his death in 1473. The palace features three large doors and a double row of seven windows on the facade, designed by Filippo Brunelleschi.
  • 16th Century: Eleonora of Toledo, wife of Cosimo I de' Medici, purchases the palace in 1549 to serve as a ceremonial residence for the growing Grand Duchy. Bartolomeo Ammannati, the Grand Duke's architect, expands the palace and creates the renowned Italian Boboli Gardens behind it.
  • 17th-18th Centuries: The palace and gardens undergo further development under the Hapsburg-Lorraine family, including the construction of the two front wings known as "Rondò," which triple the size of the square. The palace becomes a showcase for grand ducal works by prominent artists of the time.
  • 19th Century: Following the unification of Italy, the palace is passed to the Crown of Italy and briefly serves as the residence of Victor Emmanuel II during Florence's time as the capital (1865-1871).
  • 20th Century: In 1919, Victor Emmanuel III donates Palazzo Pitti, along with the square and Boboli Gardens, to the Italian State. Today, the palace houses various museums and galleries, including the Treasury of the Grand Dukes, the Palatine Gallery, the Gallery of Modern Art, and the Museum of Costume and Fashion.

Palazzo Pitti architecture

Palazzo Pitti is unlike any other museum in the world and is primarily built with massive, rustic stone blocks, creating a look partially inspired by ancient Etruscan walls and giving the palace a stern and foreboding appearance.

To reinforce the power of the palace, 7 arch-headed apertures were repeated three times over, akin to a Roman aqueduct.

This striking design has withstood the test of time and the facade formula of repetition was maintained during future additions to the palazzo.

The architecture also influenced many 16th-century imitations and 19th-century revivals. At its core, the palace architecture features a similar technique as other Florentine palaces with big stones at the base and more refined stones at the top.

Frequently asked questions Palazzo Pitti

Why is the Pitti Palace significant?

The Pitti Palace is significant for its historical importance as the former residence of the Medici family and later the ruling families of Tuscany. It is renowned for its stunning architecture, rich art collections, and beautiful gardens, making it a symbol of Florence's cultural heritage.

What are the must-see galleries inside the Pitti Palace?

The must-see galleries inside the Pitti Palace include the Palatine Gallery, the Gallery of Modern Art, the Museum of Costume and Fashion, the Silver Museum, and the Porcelain Museum. These galleries showcase a diverse range of art, artifacts, and historical treasures.

How old is Palazzo Pitti?

Construction work on the Palazzo Pitti started in 1458, making it almost 600 years old.

What can I do at Palazzo Pitti?

Palazzo Pitti is a large complex of iconic and must-visit museums and galleries that are home to important collections of paintings, sculpture and pieces of art. Apart from visiting the museums, you can also stroll around the beautiful Boboli Gardens and admire its wonderful Italian style.

Why was the Pitti Palace built?

The Pitti Palace was built as a grand Renaissance residence for the ambitious banker Luca Pitti. It later became the residence of the powerful Medici family and served as a symbol of their wealth, power, and influence in Florence.

Who designed the Pitti Palace?

The Pitti Palace was designed by various architects, including Filippo Brunelleschi, who started the construction, and later expanded by other architects like Bartolomeo Ammannati and Giorgio Vasari.

What architectural style is the Pitti Palace known for?

The Pitti Palace is known for its Renaissance architecture, characterized by its grandeur, symmetry, and elegant proportions. The palace features elements of classical design, harmonious proportions, and ornate decorations typical of the Renaissance period.

Is the Pitti Palace free?

The Pitti Palace is not free to enter. Visitors need to purchase tickets to access the various museums and galleries within the palace complex.

How much does it cost to visit the Pitti Palace?

The cost of visiting the Pitti Palace varies depending on the type of ticket and the inclusions. Prices typically start from €32 for regular tickets, with guided tours and skip-the-line access options available at higher prices.

What is the best way to skip the line and get into the Pitti Palace quickly?

The best way to skip the line and enter the Pitti Palace quickly is by booking skip-the-line tickets or guided tours in advance. These options allow visitors to bypass the queues and make the most of their visit to the palace.

How are Palazzo Pitti and Boboli Gardens connected?

Palazzo Pitti and the Boboli Gardens are connected physically, with the gardens located behind the palace. Visitors can access the gardens directly from the palace grounds, creating a seamless transition between the two attractions.