Pitti Palace (Palazzo Pitti) is a fabulous Renaissance masterpiece situated on the south bank of the River Arno near the Ponte Vecchio Bridge in Florence. Named after a Florentine banker Luca Pitti, construction on the palace began in the mid-1400s and has become home to centuries of history and art. The lovely Boboli Gardens is directly behind Pitti Palace. I would recommend allowing a day for each of these Florence “must see” sites.
Purchased by the Medici’s in 1539, this palace served as the official residence of the Grand Dukes of Tuscany and other dignitaries as time went on. Eventually, the palace was donated to the Italian people and opened to the public. If you’re a fan of Versailles, then you will love Pitti Palace-lots of gold. However, it’s less crowded than Versailles! The palace is filled with amazing art and décor divided into five museums: the Treasury of the Grand Dukes and the Museum of Russian Icons (with the Palatine Chapel), the Palatine Gallery and the Imperial and Royal Apartments, the Gallery of Modern Art (1700s and 1800s) and the Museum of Costume and Fashion. The stunner for me was the amazing ceiling art. Always look up! Not just frescoes but also ceiling sculptures adding texture and interest.
Warning don’t get too close to the precious artwork! My husband was explaining his interpretation of a large sweeping piece and his hand moved within inches of the canvas, setting off alarms and subsequent yelling by the security guard in the room to step away. Thom regularly gets into trouble at museums for this type of behavior and never learns his lesson. High fiving sculptures and walking into “no access” designated areas are also his hallmark.
Take your time, meander through the rooms, listen to an audio tour if that’s your jam and appreciate all the beautiful art. I enjoyed the Pitti Palace more than the crowded Uffizi Gallery. The location was also better for me as the palace is in the Oltrarno neighborhood where we were staying and close to lots of cafes and artisan shops to explore after our palace visit.
Official ticketing page | Uffizi Galleries check online before you go because opening hours change with the seasons. You can get a daily ticket for $10 euros. We got the 5-day pass for $38 euros each where you have to get your timed entry to Uffizi first and then you have 5 days to also go to Boboli Garden and Pitti Palace and Archaeology Museum. You have one paper ticket to hold on to and show at these places to get in and skip ticket buying line. It’s very convenient and they way to go if you want to visit all these places, which I highly recommend.