Pitti Palace - Table of Contents    .................................     Architecture Around the World

Exterior - Pitti Palace /Palazzo Pitti
(Pitti: pronounced pee tee)

Florence, Italy

Erected by Luca Pitti:

Medici first residence:
Palazzo Medici Riccardi
Medici second residence: Palazzo Vecchio
Medici third residence: Pitti Palace
Exterior building material:


Renaissance, esp. Renaissance Palaces of Florence
February 2020 photos

"Purchased in 1550, the Palace was chosen by Cosimo I de’ Medici and his wife Eleanor of Toledo as the new Grand Ducal residence, and it soon became the new symbol of the Medici’s power over Tuscany.

"It also housed the Court of other two dynasties: the House of Habsburg-Lorraine (which succeeded the Medici from 1737) and the Kings of Italy from the House of Savoy, who inhabited it from 1865.

"Nonetheless the palace still bears the name of its first owner, the Florentine banker Luca Pitti that in the mid-1400s started its construction – maybe after a design by Brunelleschi – at the foot of the Boboli hill beyond the Arno River."  - Le Gallerie Degli Uffizi (online March 2020)

A lunette painted in 1599 by Giusto Utens, depicts the palazzo before its extensions, with the amphitheatre and the Boboli Gardens behind.  
Source: Wikipedia (online March 2020)

Facade/North elevation

The original construction consisted of only the middle cube of the present building (the middle seven windows on the top floor). In 1549, the property was sold to the Medicis and became the primary residence of the grand ducal family.    ...   Details below, from the left:

Parapets / balustrades  ...   Rustication   ...   Voussoirs

Pietraforte stone quarried onsite

Parapets / balustrades  ...   Rustication   ...   Voussoirs

Lion fountain   ...   Detail below:

Note water spout (functional in warmer weather) in the lion's mouth

Voussoirs   ...   Pedimented window surround

Voussoirs   ...   Pedimented window surround   ...     Triglyphs above guttae   ...   Iron grill

Fleur-de-lis on crown   ...  Flanking ancones

Flanking ancones

Horse tether ring   ...   Detail below:

Horse tether ring


View from the street   ...   Left rusticated pietraforte wall  detail below:

The red
Pietraforte   stone excavated from the site was used in extensions to the palazzo.   ...   This wall is located in the lower left in the photo below:

Arcade detailed below:


View of the piazza (public square) from the arcade illustrated above

Driveway rusticated wall  detailed below:

Around the corner, view on the street   ...   The red pietraforte   stone excavated from the site was used in extensions to the palazzo.


Foreground:  Courtyard    ...   Above and behind the courtyard wall is the Artichoke Fountain, the beginning of the Boboli Gardens

Hercules   ...   Three details below:

Hercules  wearing the Nemean lion skin



Courtyard east and south elevations

Banded engaged columns



(online March 2020)

The pietraforte (or forte stone ) is a fine-grained sandstone with carbonate cement . It is the typical Florentine building stone, in use, at least since the 11th century, in civil and religious buildings and also for paving.

In Florence the quarries of pietraforte were located in the Boboli Gardens , therefore very close to the city, and were used well before the construction of Palazzo Pitti . The Palace itself was said to be already underground, because the quarries of material were under its foundations , and that it was enough to "turn it" up high. The Boboli amphitheater is located right in the cavity created to collect the material for the building. A quarry was reopened in Boboli when material was needed to restore and rebuild the ancient towers of Oltrarno after the destruction in 1944 .

Photos and their arrangement 2020 Chuck LaChiusa
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