What’s so special about the Palazzo Pitti?The Palazzo Pitti was built for Florentine banker Luca Pitti in 1458, who apparently instructed the architect and craftsmen to create a building which rivaled the glory of the Medici residences. After his death, the Palazzo was acquired by the Medicis themselves, a powerful political dynasty in the Republic of Florence. The building and its gardens passed through many hands over the following centuries, including a period of use by Napoleon, before Victor Emmanuel III donated it and its contents to the Italian people. Over the years the art and precious items collected by the Medicis and their descendants grew, and it still forms the basis of the museums’ collections. A ticket to the Palazzo Pitti also gives you access to the Palatine Gallery, the Royal Apartments, the Silver Museum, and the Costume Gallery - so you’ll have plenty to keep you occupied!
Should I go to the Boboli Gardens too?The Boboli Gardens are a fascinating extension to the Renaissance-style of the Palazzo Pitti. Built for Eleonora di Toledo, the wife of Cosimo I de’ Medici around 1550, the gardens feature several pieces which would have already been ancient, including an obelisk from Ancient Egypt. The gardens also include a collection of Renaissance art featuring works from Michelangelo, Giambologna and Buontalenti, and along with the lush roses and citrus trees, there’s plenty to see. The greenery and fresh air of the garden might also be a nice change if your trip to Florence has been heavy on museums.
How long should I plan for my visit?While you could easily lose yourself in the museums of the Palazzo Pitti for several days, it’s possible to see everything in the palace complex in about 2 hours, to which you should add at least 1 hour for the Boboli Gardens if you decide to visit those as well. There’s no time limit, so take your time to explore the museums once you’re inside.
How do I get to the Palazzo Pitti?The Palazzo is in the Oltrarno district in the center of Florence. From Santa Maria Novella train station you can walk to the park in 30 minutes, or you can take the bus (C3 or C4) and be there in 15 minutes.