POINTS OF INTEREST
This enormous palace is one of Florence's largest architectural set pieces. The original palazzo, built for the Pitti family around 1460, comprised only the main entrance and the three windows on either side. In 1549 the property was sold to the Medici, and Bartolomeo Ammannati was called in to make substantial additions. Although he apparently operated on the principle that more is better, he succeeded only in producing proof that more is just that: more.
Today the palace houses several museums: The Museo degli Argenti displays a vast collection of Medici treasures, including exquisite antique vases belonging to Lorenzo the Magnificent. The Galleria del Costume showcases fashions from the past 300 years. The Galleria d'Arte Moderna holds a collection of 19th- and 20th-century paintings, mostly Tuscan. Most famous of the Pitti galleries is the Galleria Palatina, which contains a broad collection of paintings from the 15th to 17th centuries. The rooms of the Galleria Palatina remain much as the Lorena, the rulers who took over after the last Medici died in 1737, left them. Their floor-to-ceiling paintings are considered by some to be Italy's most egregious exercise in conspicuous consumption, aesthetic overkill, and trumpery. Still, the collection possesses high points, including a number of portraits by Titian and an unparalleled collection of paintings by Raphael, notably the double portraits of Angelo Doni and his wife, the sullen Maddalena Strozzi. The price of admission to the Galleria Palatina also allows you to explore the former Appartamenti Reali, containing furnishings from a remodeling done in the 19th century.