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Bucket list experience:

Last updated: 14 April, 2022
Expert travel writer: Nicky Swallow

Florence’s most imposing building was once home to the Medici court and later to the Savoy kings. Now this vast former palace houses multiple museums, the largest – and most important – of which is the Palatina Gallery.

The Palatina is laid out in a series of grand rooms on the first floor with fabulous frescoed ceilings under which hang masterworks by the likes of Raphael, Rubens, Botticelli and Van Dyck in elaborate gilded frames.

The other museums include the Treasury of the Grand Dukes, the Gallery of Modern Art and the Museum of Costume and Fashion. A new ground-floor gallery opened in late 2021 housing the oldest collection of Russian icons in Western Europe.

Don’t miss

Look out for Raphael’s Madonna of the Grand Duke and Holy Family (his last work) in the Sala di Saturno; paintings by Rubens, Tintoretto and Van Dyke in the Sala di Marte; the magnificent ceilings in the five ‘planet rooms’.

While you're there

Pair it with a visit to the Boboli Gardens next door. This shady green oasis in the centre of Florence is one of the most beautiful gardens in Italy.

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Price from: £9
Minimum age: Any
Age suitable: 18+
When: All year around

Getting there & doing it

The Pitti Palace lies south of the river, a 20-minute walk from Santa Maria Novella train station. Buses C3 and C4 stop in Piazza Pitti.

To avoid the summer queues, book in advance online or on a guide tour. See our recommendations below.

The entry ticket is also valid for the Gallery of Modern Art (exhibiting mainly Italian works from the late 18th century until WWI). A second ticket is required for the Costume Gallery, the Museum of Porcelain, and the Museum of Silver. Audio guides are available in 6 languages.

When to do it

The museums are open all year round, Tuesday to Sunday. Closed Monday. To avoid the crowds, visit at lunchtime or just before closing time.

Our selection of the best Viator tours of this attraction or activity

Pitti Palace and Palatina Gallery Entrance Ticket

Pitti Palace and Palatina Gallery Entrance Ticket

Florence

Palazzo Pitti is definitely one of the main sight to visit during your stay in Florence. With this ticket entrance you're allowed to visit: ...

€22 | Rating 4 / 5 [14 ratings]

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Medici's Mile Walking Tour plus Pitti Palace or Boboli Gardens Ticket

Medici's Mile Walking Tour plus Pitti Palace or Boboli Gardens Ticket

Florence

Live a unique visit experience through the history, the richness and the secrets of the powerful dynasty which made possible the great Renai...

€49 | Rating 4.14 / 5 [7 ratings]

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Pitti Palace, Palatina Gallery and the Medici: Arts and Power in Florence.

Pitti Palace, Palatina Gallery and the Medici: Arts and Power in Florence.

Florence

See masterpieces by Raphael, Titian and other artists during a max 2-hour guided tour of the Palatine Gallery in Florence’s Pitti Palace (Pa...

€58 | Rating 4.61 / 5 [122 ratings]

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The Private Residence of Medici Dynasty: Pitti Palace

The Private Residence of Medici Dynasty: Pitti Palace

Florence

Guided Tour to the Palatine Gallery and the Royal Apartments, the private art collection of the Medici family inside of their last somptuos ...

€65 | Rating 4 / 5 [12 ratings]

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Our writer’s picks of the best places to stay near this experience, closest first

Hotel Palazzo Guadagni

Florence, Tuscany, Italy[0.2 miles]

Set on lively Piazza Santo Spirito, this charming three-star hotel has bags of character in addition to modern facilities and services. The top-floor loggia is a magical spot for an aperitivo.

Official star rating:

Hotel Lungarno Florence

Florence, Tuscany, Italy[0.3 miles]

Set on the south bank of the Arno River, the Ferragamo-owned Lungarno is a central, stylish and luxurious place to be based for a stay in Florence.

Official star rating:

Hotel Continentale Florence

Florence, Tuscany, Italy[0.5 miles]

Cool, edgy Ferragamo-owned design hotel by the Ponte Vecchio in the heart of the city – the perfect base for sightseeing.

Official star rating:

AdAstra

Florence, Tuscany, Italy[0.6 miles]

An aristocratic mansion set in a magnificent private garden, AdAstra offers 16 beautiful rooms filled with antiques, up-cycled retro pieces and quirky design touches.

Official star rating:

Destination guides including or relevant to this experience

Tuscany

Tuscany, Italy

The astonishingly beautiful region of Tuscany has it all: art cities and ancient hill towns, high mountains and long sandy beaches, alongside luxurious hotels and some of Italy’s best food and wine.

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Our writer’s recommendations of other bucket list experiences our writer says you must do in this destination, closest first

Boboli Gardens

Florence, Tuscany, Italy[0.3 miles]

This shady green oasis in the centre of Florence is one of the most beautiful gardens in Italy and makes a wonderful escape on a hot, summer’s day.

Best for ages: 13+ | £5

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Ponte Vecchio

Florence, Tuscany, Italy[0.4 miles]

Florence’s oldest bridge spans the Arno at its narrowest point and was spared from bombing by the retreating Germans after World War II. Thronged with tourists, it is famous for its glittering gold shops which replaced the original foul-smelling butcher’s shops in the 1590s.

Best for ages: 18+ | Free

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Uffizi Gallery

Florence, Tuscany, Italy[0.5 miles]

The world’s largest and most important collection of Renaissance and Mannerist art, home to 5,400 works spans art history from ancient Greece through to 18th-century Venetian painting.

Best for ages: 18+ | £10

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Brancacci Chapel
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Best for ages: 18+ | £7

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night view of Old Palace (Palazzo Vecchio) in Florence, Italy
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Florence, Tuscany, Italy[0.7 miles]

This imposing palace on Piazza della Signoria has been at the centre of power in Florence since its construction in 1299 and still functions as the town hall. Now partly a museum, its sumptuously decorated rooms reveal magnificent frescoes, coffered ceilings and hidden chambers. Book skip-the-line tickets online here.

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Palazzo Strozzi
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Palazzo Strozzi

Florence, Tuscany, Italy[0.7 miles]

This 16th-century palazzo is home to one of Italy’s most innovative public art galleries. Rotating exhibitions showcase artists as diverse as Jeff Koons, Ai Wei-Wei and Bill Viola and Bronzino, Donatello and Pontormo. The ‘Strozzino’ gallery in the basement focuses on contemporary art and peripheral cultural events.

Best for ages: 18+ | £13

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