January 25, 2009

One of the Best Sights in Florence

Posted in museums at 12:49 pm by classicalmusic

The Palazzo Pitti of Firenze

Firenze (Florence) is my favorite Italian city.  In addition to its outstanding architecture, there is so much to see there that the two or three days, which tourists generally allow it, are only enough to catch a “feel” of the Florentine treasures.  One of my favorite places to wander about is the Palazzo Pitti.

Built on what was once the “wrong” side of the Arno, you approach it by crossing Firenze’s oldest and most beautiful bridge, the Ponte Vecchio.  The Pitti family who were rivals of the powerful Medici, built their palace on high ground overlooking the Arno to prove that they were loftier than the Medici.  They only lived there for a few years and the Palazzo was eventually bought by the Medici.  It is huge containing about 1000 rooms of all sizes, and it is not just one museum but a combination of five:  the Pitti Gallery, the Modern Art Gallery, the Silver Museum, the Royal Apartments and the Carriage Museum.  It holds artworks of some of the greatest painters of the Renaissance and beyond, including Titian, Tintoretto, Rubens, Van Dyke, Raphael, Veronese, Perogino and more.  And it also contains a lot of mediocre artwork.

If you tire of walking through the endless gallery rooms of the museums, you can go out throught the courtyard to the Boboli Gardens, one of the most imposing gardens in Italy with stately trees, fountains, a grotto and Neptune’s pond.  It is lovely, quiet and restful to walk through the area even going up the long hill to the Belvedere Fort, which the Medici built to use as a refuge in troubled times.  A delightful place to relax after viewing the Palazzo museums.


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