on February 3, 2010
We toured the Pitti Palace through Context Tours, a company we highly recommend. [www.contexttravel.com] A tour seemed the best way to visit because the Palace is so integral to the history of the Medici family, who owned the palace for most of its history, but the history was something unknown to us. It is situated on the south side of the River Arno, a short distance from the Ponte Vecchio and connected by a corridor. The core of the present palazzo dates from 1458 and was originally the countrified residence of Luca Pitti, an ambitious Florentine banker, who ran a foul of the Medici family. The palace was bought by the Medici family in 1549 and became the chief residence of the ruling families of the Grand Duchy of Tuscany. It grew as a great treasure house as later generations amassed paintings, plates, jewelry and luxurious possessions.Viewing the collection of art was our main reason for visiting but the art work is arranged more for its size than its content, quality, genre or date. That was the second reason to have a good guide in the Palace since it meant that someone could point out the highlights and save us searching through some rather mediocre pieces.The art collection is worth the visit, but having someone explain the history of the Palace and necessarily some of the history of Florence and Italy was an added bonus. We learned a lot as well as enjoyed some great art. The Boboli Gardens are another reason to visit, but when we went, it was too rainy to enjoy being out of doors. The Pitti Palace is open Tuesday to Sunday 8.15 – 18.50, closed Mondays, New Year’s Day, May 1st and Christmas Day. Full price entry tickets are € 6.50 with combined tickets for the entire complex including the Boboli Gardens €11.50.
©Travelocity.com LP 2000-2009