Sunday, 3 May 2015
Florence Trip - Pitti Palace & The Boboli Gardens
The Pitti Palace or Palazzo Pitti if you prefer is a huge renaissance Palace over the the Ponte Vecchio on the south side of the river. The palace was bought by the Medici family in 1549 and became the chief residence of the ruling families of the Grand Duchy of Tuscany. The palazzo is now the largest museum complex in Florence. The building was commissioned in 1458 by the Florentine banker Luca Pitti, a principal supporter and friend of Cosimo de' Medici. Land on the Boboli hill at the rear of the palazzo was acquired in order to create a large formal park and gardens, today known as the Boboli Gardens. There are some wonderful views across the Cypress lined Tuscan hills as you walk uphill to the Boboli Gardens. The Gardens are some of the first and most familiar formal 16th-century Italian gardens.The openness of the garden, with an expansive view of the city, was unconventional for its time. The gardens were very lavish, considering no access was allowed outside the immediate Medici family, and no entertainment or parties ever took place in the gardens. The gardens have passed through several stages of enlargement and restructuring work. They were enlarged in the 17th century to their present extent of 45,000 meters² (111 acres). The Boboli Gardens have come to form an outdoor museum of garden sculpture that includes Roman antiquities as well as 16th and 17th century works.