- The Palatine Gallery (Galleria Palatina) takes up the entire left wing of the first floor of Palazzo Pitti and is divided into 33 rooms.
This museum houses an outstanding art collection from the Renaissance to the Baroque with around one thousand paintings.
The immense collection includes masterpieces by Fra Bartolomeo, Filippo Lippi, Raffaello (Portrait of a Woman (1516) and the Madonna della Seggiola, 1510 ca.), Botticcelli, Giorgio Vasari, Andrea del Sarto, Il Perugino, Tiziano (La Bella (1536) and Maria Maddalena (1530) housed in the “Sala di Apollo), Jacopo Pontormo, Il Veronese, Tintoretto (Deposizione, 1560 ca.), Caravaggio (Amore Dormente, 1608), Guido Reni (Bacco Fanciullo, 1620), Il Guercino (San Sebastiano, 1625 ca.), Diego Rodríguez de Silva y Velázquez, Anton Van Dyck and Peter Paul Rubens (The Consequences of War ,1638). Most of them come from the private collection of the Medici family.
Among the sculptures there housed, the most celebrated probably is the superb “Venus Italica” created by the talented Italian sculptor Antonio Canova (1757-1822) and granted to Palazzo Pitti by the Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte who commissioned it from Canova. The statue is displayed in the “Sala di Venere”
The ceilings of the rooms were glorious frescoed by the eminent Italian Baroque painter and architect Pietro da Cortona (Roman school) between 1637 and 1647. The ones located in the “Sala della Stufa” depict the Age of Gold and the Age of Silver. Cortona subsequently painted the Age of Copper and the Age of Iron. The frescoes which ornament rooms 4 to 8 are an allegory to classical mythology. They were commissioned from Cortona as a mention to the grandeur of the Medici dynasty. When Cortona left Florence he had ended three rooms, the so called rooms of Mars, Venus, and Jupiter. The other same subject rooms were terminated in 1666 by his advantaged disciple and follower Ciro Ferri (1634-1689).
The rooms face to the splendid Piazza de’Pitti.
The current arrangement of the rooms maintains the atmosphere of a private art gallery with a
sumptuous merging between the luxuriant interior ornamentation and the exceptional pictorial collection displayed as it was originally set by the Medici.
All of them are in evident contrast to the austerity of the apartments assigned to Napoleon Bonaparte when his sister, Maria Anna Elisa, was Grand Duchess of Tuscany. She followed the plain suggestion of the Emperor, except for the sumptuous marble bathroom that he refused to utilize, preferring a less deluxe one situated next to his rooms.
- The Royal Apartments are located on the first floor of the southern wing of Palazzo Pitti. They were constructed in the 17th century and are divided into fourteen majestic rooms which have been the private residence of the Medici and the Habsburg-Lorraine dynasties in Florence and also of the Savoia family, when Florence was designated capital city of the Kingdom of Italy.
The decoration of the rooms was irremediably modified as soon as the respective Tuscan rulers were in power. Because of the Royal Apartments represent three different historical and artistic periods which conferred them a high cultural interest.
The towering and immense ceilings are entirely covered by stunning white and gold stucco richly ornamented. The walls, put on exclusive silks of incalculable value, emboss the sumptuous furnishing and the decorative elements there set.
To each room was given a different colour atmosphere, going from a mellow light green to the most impressive deep red.
They host as well a beautiful series of portraits of the Medici family painted from 1619 ca. to 1681 by the celebrated Flemish artist Justus Susterman (1597-1681) who is believed the main portrait painter of his age of the Medici court.
For the most part the rooms and the internal areas of Palazzo Pitti were frescoed in the 17th century by several well-known Tuscan painters of the age, like: Pietro da Cortona, Giovanni di San Giovanni, Il Volterrano, Antonio Domenico Gabbiani and Sebastiano Ricci.
The admission ticket to the Palatine Gallery includes the entry to the Royal Apartments.
The admission ticket is: 6.50 euros.
Both of them are opened from Tuesday to Sunday, from 8:15am to 6:50pm.
- The Silver Museum (Museo degli Argenti) is housed on the ground floor and in the mezzanine of Palazzo Pitti, in the former summer apartments of the Medici family.
The Museum displays a massive and superb collection of precious silver, ivory, amber and cristal decorative objects, as well as several exclusive pieces from Roman glassware, oriental ancient carpets and gorgeous works made by eminent Florentine, Flemish and German goldsmiths, purchased by Ferdinando I de Medici, Grand Duke of Tuscany from 1587 to 1609.
The honour place of the collection is occupied by sixteen ancient Roman and Byzantine vases in semi-precious stone, which are preserved in the “Sala Buia”. They all were acquired by Lorenzo de Medici, called the Magnificent, while he was Grand Duke of Tuscany (1469-1492).
Among the Medici portraits there is a wonderful series of Cosimo I de Medici, his wife, Leonor Álvarez de Toledo, and their sons, which are carved in onyx cameos.
The Museo degli Argenti opens daily. It only closes the 1st and 4th Monday of the month.
From June to August: 8:15am to 7:30pm.
On April, May, September and October: 8:15am to 6:30pm.
From November to February: 8:15am to 4:30pm.
On March: 8:15am to 5:30pm.
The admission ticket includes the visit to the Porcelain Museum hosted in the adjacent Boboli Gardens.
- The Gallery of Modern Art (Galleria d’Arte Moderna) is hosted on the upper floor of Palazzo Pitti. It preserves a vast painting and sculpturing collection from the mid of the 18th century to the first decades of the 20th, displayed in thirty rooms.
These sumptuous rooms concerned to the period of the Habsburg-Lorraine dynasty in Tuscany. The collection is mostly composed of Italian Neo Classical and Romantic works.
Among them, the main artworks pertain to the so called Macchiaoili Group, a prominent Italian artistic movement from the late 19th century, which components, coming from different sites in Italy, went over the Tuscan territory impressed by the beauty, the people and the culture of this region, which perfectly depicted in their pictures.
The principal exponents of the “Macchiaoli” were: Giovanni Fattori (1825-1908), Silvestro Lega (1826-1895), Vincenzo Cabianca (1827-1902), Odoardo Borrani (1833-1905), Telemaco Signorini (1835-1901) and Raffaello Sernesi (1838- 1866).
That collection was granted to Florence at the ending if the 19th century by Diego Martelli (1838-1896) a well-known Italian realist painter, art critic and patron, who had also been integrated in the Macchiaoli Group.
The Galleria d’Arte Moderna opens from Tuesday to Saturday: 8:15am to 1:50pm, alternating Monday and Sunday.
The admission ticket: 5 euros, includes the visit to the Galleria del Costume hosted in the nearby small palace “La Meridiana” with the same opening days and hours.
Oltrarno Side of Florence
The Cathedrals : Basilica di San Miniato al Monte, Cappella Brancacci, Santo Spirito
Main Monuments : Palazzo Pitti, Piazzale Michelangelo, Ponte Vecchio
Click here for compleate Florence Travel Guide
The Tuscany Travel Blog
If you have recently visited Tuscany or you would like to visit Tuscany we now offer the
Tuscany Travel Blog Here you have the opportunity to share your experience, request information or impressions to other customers, and also become an author of the Blog yourself!