Palazzo Pitti, the largest of the Florentine palaces, was the residence of the Grand Duchy of Tuscany, already inhabited by the Medici, the Habsburg-Lorraine and, after the unification of Italy, by the Savoy. It is located in Piazza dei Pitti and inside it houses art galleries and museums of various nature: the Palatine Gallery, the Modern Art Gallery, the Royal Apartments, the Duchess of Aosta's Apartment and the Prince's Quarter of Naples, the Treasury of the Grand Dukes, the Porcelain Museum, the Fashion and Costume Museum and the Carriage Museum.
Palazzo Pitti History
The Palazzo still bears the name of its first owner, the Florentine banker Luca Pitti who had it built as his private residence in the mid-fifteenth century. Luca Pitti was a rival of the Medici family and wanted a more lavish residence than the one just erected by Michelozzo for Cosimo il Vecchio. At the time it was built, perhaps based on a design by Filippo Brunelleschi, it was the largest residence in Florence and also the most sumptuous.
Purchased in 1550 by Cosimo I de'Medici and his wife Eleonora of Toledo to transform it into the new Grand Ducal residence, Palazzo Pitti soon became the symbol of the Medici's consolidated power over Tuscany. Palace of two other dynasties, that of the Habsburgs-Lorraine (successors of the Medici from 1737) and of the Savoy, who lived there as royals of Italy from 1865 when Florence became the capital of Italy, until 1871 when he moved to the Palazzo del Quirinale in Rome, new capital.
It currently houses four different museums divided into different exhibition themes: the Treasury of the Grand Dukes on the ground floor, the Palatine Gallery and the Imperial and Royal Apartments on the main floor of the Palace, the Gallery of Modern Art and the Museum of Fashion and Costume at the second floor.