The Pitti Palace is located on the south side of the Arno River, close to Ponte Vecchio. The palace was built during the Renaissance for Luca Pitti, a wealthy banker in Florence. Built in 1458 and purchased by the powerful Medici family to serve as the family’s main palace. During the 18th century, the palace served as the residence of Napoleon Bonaparte and later served as the royal palace of the King of Italy. In 1919, King Vittorio Emanuele III donated the palace to the public.
Today, the palace is used as an art museum and, in fact, as the largest museum complex in Florence (its central area covers 32,000 square meters). The Palatine Gallery, which houses valuable paintings from different periods of history, the Modern Art Gallery, the Royal Shard Apartments, the Clothing Museum, and the Clothing Gallery, operate in the palace complex, The Silver, the Carriage Museum, and the Porcelain Museum As part of the process of turning the palace into a museum in the 20th century, the palace structure and the rooms of the royal family were preserved as they are.
In front of the palace stand seven large arches inspired by the hot trend in Florence in those days – construction in the ancient Roman style. In the 16th century, the palace was expanded to twice its original size, and an underground passage called the “Vesari Corridor” was added, which connects the palace to Palazzo Vecchio, and was designed to allow the Duke of Tuxana (also from the Medici family) and his family to pass safely between their palaces.
In the back of the palace, the Medici family established the spectacular Boboli Gardens, which are highly recommended after visiting the Pitti Palace. In the 16th century, a spacious courtyard was established connecting the palace to the Boboli gardens, and the front of the palace was changed so that it faced the garden’s past.
Prices and visits
The price of an entrance ticket to the palace from March to October is 16 euros, then drops to 10 euros. If you are a museums and exhibitions fan, you will pay off to purchase a combined ticket for all the museums (38 euros in the hot season and only 18 euros afterward).
The queues for the Pitti Palace are known to be long, so it is recommended to arrive very early or in the afternoon. The ticket office closes at 18:00. Please note – the palace is closed to visitors on Mondays.