I've walked by the Pitti Palace many times, but until today I'd never toured it. I've also loved the sloping front and the way people relax on it.
The de' Medicis acquired the Pitti from a rival family, partly so they'd have more places to hang out and partly, I'm sure, so the other family wouldn't have such a big, beautiful palace. Today, the Pitti showcases their quarters, a great deal of their art (that is, the art that isn't in the Uffizi or in storage), and some modern art they acquired later.
The collection is simply lovely. If you visited here before you went anywhere else in Florence, you'd think it was the most amazing set of Italian Renaissance paintings you'd ever seen. Scattered among the works of the more traditional Florentine artists are a handful of Botticellis, half a dozen Rubens, several Van Dycks, and so many great paintings I couldn't list them all.
The Pitti does not allow photography, but I broke the rules and took this one shot of a painting by no one I recognized, simply because I thought it was so lovely and tranquil.
Behind the Pitti are the absolutely beautiful Boboli Gardens.
First, though, a view of Florence off to the left of the Pitti.
For the best view of the Boboli, you must, as Sarah counseled, take every opportunity to go higher. Here's a shot straight up the center, from the bottom to one peak.
Yeah, that was tiring and took a few minutes.
The view, though, was worth it. From the base of the statue (not the very best view, but I wanted to take a shot from there), it looks like this.
Lovely, absolutely lovely.
Did I mention that the new hotel includes a Romanesque column?
By the way, I am eating less and obviously walking far more than normal, so that is good. I am sinning by enjoying gelato daily--and twice today, though both times the smallest amounts on offer. It was that kind of hiking day.