If you’re planning a trip to Florence, you absolutely have to include the magnificent Palazzo Pitti, the astonishing landmark located in the Florentine square of the same name, Piazza Pitti. This palace still preserves its ancient beauty and it can be today considered a melting pot of ancient and modern art. Florence, in fact, decided to include years ago some new fashion collections which are displayed every year at Palazzo Pitti. Let’s dig a bit more into the collections and the history of Pitti Palace!
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Pitti Palace History
Despite its many owners throughout the centuries, the man who erected this palace was the Florentine banker Luca Pitti, in the 15th century. With the rising power of the well-known Medici family, this palace changed owners and passed to this dynasty, who chose this mansion as a symbol of their power and magnificence above the city.
The Medici collected and introduced art pieces in the Pitti Palace, creating galleries and spaces that have remained the same ever since. In 1865 the palace passed to another Italian royal family: the Savoia. This dynasty, who reigned all over Italy at the time, chose this landmark as their main residence and symbol of power.
The Palatine Gallery
Located on the same floor where the royals used to live, this gallery includes 28 different spaces where you can find art pieces from artists such as Tiziano or Raffaello. The current paintings’ display follows the one created by the royals during the 19th century. The paintings are displayed in several levels and their disposition follows mostly a stylistic criteria instead of chronological order.
The atmosphere and the decorations of the whole gallery are based on styles from the Renaissance and the Baroque period, probably the most important periods for Palazzo Pitti itself. The Palatine Gallery opened its doors to the public in 1833, and for this special occasion, several more art pieces were collected by the Museum.
Pitti Palace Gallery of Modern Art
Located on the second floor of Palazzo Pitti, this gallery displays several pieces coming from the 17th and 20th centuries. This gallery includes 20 different rooms where you might find many sculptures (mostly belonging to the Italian Neoclassical art period) and paintings, collected especially during the 20th century.
All the most important art pieces showcased in this area were collected by the royal dynasties who owned Palazzo Pitti or were donated by influential Italian art collectors throughout the centuries. What is surprisingly astonishing about this gallery is its way of connecting Italian ancient art pieces to more recent ones, thanks to a very accurate display of pieces chosen to offer to visitors the best art experience.
Palazzo Pitti Fashion Gallery
In order to complete the union between ancient and modern art, in 1983 Palazzo Pitti chose to add another special gallery to its complex: the Fashion Gallery. Located in the South area of the mansion, accessible by the Boboli Gardens, this gallery displays costumes and clothes from every century.
This astonishing collection includes dresses used by the Italian royals as much as creations from designers such as Gianni Versace, Valentino, Giorgio Armani, and Emilio Pucci. Due to the extreme fragility of these kinds of materials, the collections displayed are changed every two years and the dresses are restored in the Pitti laboratories, also located in the palace. These dresses and costumes arrived at Palazzo Pitti thanks to donations from designers, collectors and the city of Florence who specifically wanted to enrich the already famous Palazzo Pitti art collection.
Palazzo Pitti Royal Apartments
As mentioned, for a long time Palazzo Pitti hosted some of the most important Italian royal families. That’s why, even today, this mansion still showcases all the rooms where those families used to live throughout the centuries. As the Pitti Palace royal apartments were deeply changed by every family, they still display the different styles and influences coming from different ages.
What you might observe there is surely the opulence and the Baroque style that marked the latest centuries of royalty in Italy. Every room can count a great number of materials such as gold, marble, and several tapestries. Also, Palazzo Pitti has always tried to preserve the former furniture arrangements in order to offer the truest experience to its visitors.
The Boboli Gardens
With more than 800,000 visitors per year, the Boboli Garden is one of the most visited Italian parks. Its history starts in 1341 when a member of the Pitti family acquired these spaces to create a magical garden. This garden boasts a peculiar triangular shape and it is enriched with a marvelous amphitheater, erected in the same place were Florentines used to get the stone (called Pietraforte) necessary to build the Pitti Palace.
Close to this amphitheater you might observe a magnificent obelisk, the only one in the whole of Tuscany. Among all the mirabilia, the Boboli gardens can display an entire area dedicated to the god Neptune with a small artificial lake and a complex of fountains erected during at the end of the 18th century.
Are you hoping to discover this beautiful and special pearl of the Florentine history? Join one of the Roman Guy tours in Florence to jump into the Renaissance atmosphere of the city and admire all the unique art pieces that this city has to offer!
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