Pitti Palace is a larger than life 'country residence' bought by Cosimo I's wife Eleonora di Toledo in 1549 to get away from the city smog and the pokey living quarters of the Palazzo Vecchio! The two buildings are ingeniously connected by a kilometre long suspended corridor built in 1565 by Giorgio Vasari to allow the Grand Dukes to pass to and fro between their two abodes without having to mix with the plebs. Behind the palace lies one of Florence's top attractions, the Boboli gardens, an immense Italian style park with its fountains, statues and avenues. There's even an ancient Roman bath tub where one of the medici gran dukes kept his pet hippo!
Today the palace is home to the biggest museum complex in Florence. There are seven separate galleries, among which the Palatina is on the 'must do' list, with masterpieces by Raphael, Titian and Rubens. Don't forget to look up at the ceiling frescoes by Pietro da Cortona, they literally suck you up into a whirling vortex of energy and light!
The Medici's love of all things beautiful led to the birth of the Treasure of the Grand Dukes, one of the richest and most prestigious museums of decorative art in all of Europe, it gathers together all the treasures collected by the Medici and Lorraine Grand Dukes, a truly unbelievable array of exquisitely executed artifacts.
2 to 4 hours
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