This palace was commissioned by Luca
Pitti in 1448. The original plans, attributed
to Brunelleschi, called for a much smaller
building than the one we see now: it was
enlarged in 1549 when ownership passed
to the Medici family. The
beautiful courtyard by
Ammannati dates from that
period. The Pitti Palace was
enlarged and modified many
times over the centuries: it
was the seat of the Lorraine
dynasty and, when Florence
was capital of Italy, of the
Court of Savoia.
houses several museums and
galleries the most important
of which is the Palatine
Gallery, containing the private
collections of the Grand
Dukes, with masterpieces dating from the 15th to 17th
centuries, including paintings by Titian, Giorgione,
Raphael, and Rubens. The
other museums are the
Gallery of Modern Art, the
Silver Museum, the
Costume Gallery, the
Carriage Museum, the
Porcelain Museum, the Contini Bonacossi
Collection, the Royal Apartments and the
Apartment of the Duchess of Aosta.
One of the most beautiful Italian gardens
extends on the Boboli hill between the Pitti
Palace and Forte Belvedere.
designed by Tribolo in 1549 and then
enhanced by Ammanati and Buontalenti.
The 16th century fortress, Forte Belvedere,
dominates the gardens and the entire city;
it was designed by Buontalenti for the
Grand Duke Ferdinando I.