Piazza Pitti – history

Perhaps one of the most famous squares in Florence, Piazza Pitti is a must-see for anyone visiting the city.

Located on the south side of the Arno, just steps from the Ponte Vecchio, there are a handful of charming shops, restaurants, cafes and wine bars. You’ll also find a host of street artists, offering tourists city views in a variety of genres to take home.

Piazzale Pitti (Credit: Wikipedia / Creative Commons: Civvi)

The square is dominated by the Pitti Palace, a grand palazzo that was formerly the residence of the Grand Dukes of Tuscany and later of the King of Italy.

Today, the elegant royal residence has become a state-owned building that houses several important museums, among them the Museum of Modern Art, the Porcelain Museum, the Silver Museum and the Costume Gallery.

Palazzo Pitti, main courtyard (Credit: Wikipedia / Creative Commons: Sailko)

An important feature of the Pitti Palaze is the Boboli Garden, one of the earliest Italian style garden that is also famous for its fountains, grottoes and outdoor statues.

Florence receives more than five million tourists each year, and Piazza Pitti and its Palace is an essential stop on the tourist trail.

Palace’s garden facade (Credit: Wikipedia / Creative Commons: Ferras)

The piazza was closed to traffic in 2010, to protect the buildings from excess smog and restore the square’s original purpose as a stress-free centre of social aggregation for locals and visitors.

Indeed, especially in summer, you’ll often see locals and tourists sitting in piazza, on the pavement in front of the palazzo, taking the sun or just hanging out.

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