This palace has several museums under the same roof. Palatine Gallery and Appartamenti Monumentali can be seen with the same ticket. Another ticket admits to both Museo degli Argenti and Galleria del Costume. Carriage museum is closed for restoration.
Palatine Gallery is open: 8:30 am – 6:50 pm Tue-Sat, 8:30 am – 7 pm Sun and holidays.
Appartamenti Monumentali have the same opening hours as Palatine Gallery, closed Jan-Mar.
Museo degli Argenti is open: 8:30 am – 1:50 pm daily, closed 1st, 3rd, 5th Mon and 2nd, 4th Sun of the month.
The entrance to the museums is right in the center of this huge palace that was originally designed by Brunelleschi but then was expanded to three times its original length. Its construction started in the 15th century, continued into the 16th, and the side wings were added in the 19th century.
This is not a very famous collection of paintings but it is to some extent bigger and better than the famous Uffizi. Most of the paintings in the collection of the Palatine Gallery are from Medici collections. Here you will be genuinely impressed by the paintings of Raphael (about 15 all together and 7 of them grouped in one of the large halls), Titian (about 25, among which "Mary Magdalene" is one of the most famous in this collection; you can also see 2 copies of this portrait in the collection of Palazzo Doria-Pamphilj in Rome), Fra Bartolomeo, Botticelli, Rubens, Tintoretto, Veronese, Caravaggio, Van Dyck, Perugino, Sustermans, Ghirlandaio, Reni, Lippi, Sodoma, Velazquez and many others. The rooms also have ceilings with frescoes painted by Pietro di Cortona that show the education of Medici by gods.
The apartments have all the original wall coverings, tapestries, the most beautiful chandeliers of Murano glass. All the rooms also have various tables with inlays of different types and color of wood showing exotic birds and ornaments. Galleria del Costume as its name suggests shows the history of costumes through the time starting with late 18th century and through the 1940’s. It has a very interesting collection that you can easily cover in 10 minutes.
Continued in Part II