Palazzo Pitti

Dating back to around 1458, the Palazzo Pitti gets its name from its first inhabitant, Luca Pitti, an ambitious Florentine banker. The palace was purchased in 1549 by Cosimo I de’ Medici and his wife Eleanor of Toledo to serve as the new Grand Ducal residence. It soon became the new symbol of the Medici’s power over Tuscany. After the Medicis, the palace served as a royal residence for the House of Lorraine-Habsburg (which succeeded the Medici from 1737), and later as a power base for Napoleon. From 1865, it served as the principal royal palace of the Kings of Italy of the House of Savoy, until King Victor Emmanuel II eventually donated the palace and all its contents to the Italian people in 1919.

Today, the Palace is divided into four museums: the Treasury of the Grand Dukes on the ground floor, the Palatine Gallery and the Imperial and Royal Apartments on the first floor, the Modern Art Gallery and the Museum of Costume and Fashion on the second floor.


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