ywt florence: pitti palace museum in florence, italy

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  The Pitti Palace  

Address: Piazza Pitti

The Pitti Palace was begun during the second half of the fifteenth century by Luca Pitti, but was unfinished at his death in 1472. Tradition says that the palace was designed by Filippo Brunelleschi (1377-1446) and built by his pupil Luca Fancelli. The original construction on two floors above a ground floor with only five windows on each floor, was bought in 1550 by Cosimo I de' Medici's wife, Eleonora of Toledo and became the official residence of the grand ducal family. The palace was then enlarged and altered; from 1560 date the grandiose courtyard and the two lateral wings, designed by Bartolomeo Ammanati (1511-1592) and the complete rearrangement of the gardens. Under Cosimo II de' Medici (died 1621) the opening up of the view was begun together with the layout of the piazza, carried out to the designs of Giulio and Alfonso Parigi.

Pitti Palace - Florence, Italy
The facade then assumed its present appearance, with the exception of the two projecting pavilions, built under the House of Lorraine and completed only in the first half of the nineteenth century by G.M. Paoletti and P. Poccianti, also the architect of the Meridiana pavilion at the rear of the palace.
Most of the internal decoration of the Pitti was executed during the seventeenth century by Giovanni da San Giovanni, Pietro da Cortona, il Volterrano and Anton Domenico Gabbiani, with the important subsequent work of Sebastiano Ricci (1659-1734). As regards the domestic life of the palace, we know that it housed many members of the family. The rooms on the left of the facade were reserved for the Grand Duke, those on the right for the heir and the lateral wings on the first floor for their respective wives. The front rooms on the second floor contained the large palace library, while at the sides lived the children. The ground floor to the left contained the summer apartment of the Grand Duke, there was a mezzanine reserved for his private use.

Today, the palace and the Boboli gardens behind it contain some of the most important Florentine museums. On the first floor is the Palatine Gallery, on the ground floor and mezzanine the Silver Museum ("degli Argenti") and the Gallery of Modern Art is on the top floor. In the separate Palazzina del Cavaliere on the upper slopes of the Boboli gardens is the Porcelain Museum, while in the Palazzina of the Meridiana the Costume Gallery can be found.

Palatine Gallery Reservation
Modern Art Gallery Reservation
Silver Museum Reservation
Boboli Garden Reservation

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