Piazza de’ Pitti, set at an unusual angle on a slope at the base of the hill of Boboli, is dominated by the immense façade of Palazzo Pitti, which thrusts forward with two porticoed structures. This Palazzo is the largest one in all Florence and is faced with large stone ashlars.
The original building, begun around 1458 for the merchant and banker Luca Pitti, was designed by Luca Fancelli. One century later the construction was purchased by Cosimo I and Eleonora of Toledo.
It became the new site of the Medici court. In 1558 Bartolomeo Ammannati began working on enlarging the building and replaced the two side portals with massive windows, the ‘finestre inginocchiate’.
Despite the fact that the work to enlarge the façade continued for well over two centuries, it is noteworthy that, in all this work, the modular sequence of the original construction was unfailingly respected and reproduced, resulting finally in the great and spectacular creation that we can see today. The palazzo, which for three centuries was the residence4 of the Medici and of the Lorena, housed the court of Savoy in the period when Florence was capital of Italy (1865-71).
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Piazza de’ Pitti.
Closed on Mon.