Palazzo Pitti: Appartamenti Reali ☆☆

The Sala Verde (Green Room) in the Appartamenti Reali of the Pitti Palace, Florence, Palazzo Pitti: Appartamenti Reali, Florence, Italy (Photo by Jean Louis Mazieres)
The Sala Verde (Green Room) in the Appartamenti Reali of the Pitti Palace, Florence

The elaborately decorated Royal Apartments and state rooms of the Medici and Lorraine Grand Dukes in the princely Renaissance Pitti Palace

The Sala Celeste (Blue Room), Palazzo Pitti: Appartamenti Reali, Florence, Italy. (Photo by Jean Louis Mazieres)
The red Sala del Trono (Throne Room), Palazzo Pitti: Appartamenti Reali, Florence, Italy. (Photo by Jean Louis Mazieres)
The Sala dell'Iliade, Palazzo Pitti: Appartamenti Reali, Florence, Italy. (Photo by Giovanni Dore)
Caravaggio's Portrait of a Knight of Malta (Fra Antonio Martelli) (1610) in the Sala Verde, Palazzo Pitti: Appartamenti Reali, Florence, Italy. (Photo Public Domain)

The wing of the piano nobile not occupied by the Galleria Palatina painting collection is taken up with the private apartments used first by the Medici and then by the Lorraine Grand Dukes that inherited their titles.

These apartments were reopened in 1993 after being restored to their late-19th-century appearance, the era when the kings of the House of Savoy, rulers of the Unified Italy, used the suites as their Florentine home.

Amid the general interior-decorator flamboyance are some thoroughly appropriate baroque paintings by the likes of Sustermans, Carlo Dolci, and Anthony van Dyck, plus works by Caravaggio and Andrea del Sarto.

Most rooms are named after the prevalent coloring of each chamber's elaborate silk wall hangings and curtains. The over-the-top sumptuous fabrics, decorative arts furnishings, stuccoes, and frescoes reflect the neo-baroque and Victorian tastes of the Savoy kings—though the Sala Celeste (Blue Room) does retain the 17C chandelier and Medici portraits by Sustermans there were here in the Medici era.

In the excellently preserved Sala Verde (Green Room)—otherwise mostly filled with paintings of French Royalty from the Bourbon collection of Parma (brought here by the Saoyard Kings)—hang a small Allegory of Peace between Florence and Fiesole by Luca Giordano and Caravaggio's 1610 Portrait of a Knight of Malta (Fra Antonio Martelli) ★.

What had been Ferdinand de' Medici's "Audience Chamber"—and, later, the Lorraine Grand Dukes' "Chamberlain's Room"—was transformed by the Savoy Kings into a neo-Baroque Throne Room,compelte with gilded red silk walls and a raised dais for the royal seat, hemmed by a minature golden balustrade and surrounded by Japanese and Chinese porcelain vases.

The misnamed Sala dei Pappagalli (Parrot Room—the birds worked into the silks walks are actually eagles) has an elaborated gilded stucco ceiling and neoclassical furniture from the period of Napoléon I, but the paintings on the wall include a small Portrait of a Woman possibly by Andrea del Sarto and depicting his wife (though others attribute the work to del Sarto's student Pontormo), another Portrait of a Woman by Lucas Cranach, and a Portrait of Giulia Varano della Rovere, Duches of Urbino by the workshop of Titian.

The canary-colored Camera del Re (King's Bedroom) once occupired by Umberto I contains a Madonna and Child with the young St. John by a young Andrea del Sarto.

Photo gallery
  • The Sala Verde (Green Room) in the Appartamenti Reali of the Pitti Palace, Florence, Palazzo Pitti: Appartamenti Reali, Italy (Photo by Jean Louis Mazieres)
  • The Sala Celeste (Blue Room), Palazzo Pitti: Appartamenti Reali, Italy (Photo by Jean Louis Mazieres)
  • The red Sala del Trono (Throne Room), Palazzo Pitti: Appartamenti Reali, Italy (Photo by Jean Louis Mazieres)
  • The Sala dell
  • Caravaggio
 

Tips

Free admission with a sightseeing card

Get into Palazzo Pitti for free (and skip the line at the ticket booth) with:

» more on discounts & passes
How long does Pitti Palace take?

Budget at least two hours for a cursory visit of just the Galleria Palatina and Appartamenti Reali.

If you plan to venture into the Boboli Gardens, give it another hour. 

If you have only passing interest in the other museums, each will take about 20 minutes.

Note that the last entry for every museum or part of the Pitti complex is 45 minutes before closing.

The Boboli Gardens close one hour early.

Useful Italian phrases

Useful Italian for sightseeing

English (inglese) Italian (italiano) Pro-nun-cee-YAY-shun
Where is?... Dov'é doh-VAY
...the museum il museo eel moo-ZAY-yo
...the church la chiesa lah key-YAY-zah
...the cathedral il duomo [or] la cattedrale eel DUO-mo [or] lah cah-the-DRAH-leh
     
When is it open? Quando é aperto? KWAN-doh ay ah-PAIR-toh
When does it close? Quando si chiude? KWAN-doh see key-YOU-day
Closed day giorno di riposo JOR-no dee ree-PO-zo
Weekdays (Mon-Sat) feriali fair-ee-YA-lee
Sunday & holidays festivi fe-STEE-vee
     
ticket biglietto beel-YET-toh
two adults due adulti DOO-way ah-DOOL-tee
one child un bambino oon bahm-BEE-no
one student uno studente OO-noh stu-DENT-ay
one senior un pensionato oon pen-see-yo-NAH-toh

Basic phrases in Italian

English (inglese) Italian (italiano) pro-nun-see-YAY-shun
thank you grazie GRAT-tzee-yay
please per favore pair fa-VOHR-ray
yes si see
no no no
Do you speak English? Parla Inglese? PAR-la een-GLAY-zay
I don't understand Non capisco non ka-PEESK-koh
I'm sorry Mi dispiace mee dees-pee-YAT-chay
How much is it? Quanto costa? KWAN-toh COST-ah
That's too much É troppo ay TROH-po
     
Good day Buon giorno bwohn JOUR-noh
Good evening Buona sera BWOH-nah SAIR-rah
Good night Buona notte BWOH-nah NOTE-tay
Goodbye Arrivederci ah-ree-vah-DAIR-chee
Excuse me (to get attention) Scusi SKOO-zee
Excuse me (to get past someone) Permesso pair-MEH-so
     
Where is? Dov'é doh-VAY
...the bathroom il bagno eel BHAN-yoh
...train station la ferroviaria lah fair-o-vee-YAR-ree-yah
to the right à destra ah DEH-strah
to the left à sinistra ah see-NEEST-trah
straight ahead avanti [or] diritto ah-VAHN-tee [or] dee-REE-toh
information informazione in-for-ma-tzee-OH-nay

Days, months, and other calendar items in Italian

English (inglese) Italian (italiano) Pro-nun-cee-YAY-shun
When is it open? Quando é aperto? KWAN-doh ay ah-PAIR-toh
When does it close? Quando si chiude? KWAN-doh see key-YOU-day
At what time... a che ora a kay O-rah
     
Yesterday ieri ee-YAIR-ee
Today oggi OH-jee
Tomorrow domani doh-MAHN-nee
Day after tomorrow dopo domani DOH-poh doh-MAHN-nee
     
a day un giorno oon je-YOR-no
Monday Lunedí loo-nay-DEE
Tuesday Martedí mar-tay-DEE
Wednesday Mercoledí mair-coh-lay-DEE
Thursday Giovedí jo-vay-DEE
Friday Venerdí ven-nair-DEE
Saturday Sabato SAH-baa-toh
Sunday Domenica doh-MEN-nee-ka
     
Mon-Sat Feriali fair-ee-YAHL-ee
Sun & holidays Festivi feh-STEE-vee
Daily Giornaliere joor-nahl-ee-YAIR-eh
     
a month una mese oon-ah MAY-zay
January gennaio jen-NAI-yo
February febbraio feh-BRI-yo
March marzo MAR-tzoh
April aprile ah-PREEL-ay
May maggio MAH-jee-oh
June giugno JEW-nyoh
July luglio LOO-lyoh
August agosto ah-GO-sto
September settembre set-TEM-bray
October ottobre oh-TOE-bray
November novembre no-VEM-bray
December dicembre de-CHEM-bray

Numbers in Italian

English (inglese) Italian (italiano) Pro-nun-cee-YAY-shun
1 uno OO-no
2 due DOO-way
3 tre tray
4 quattro KWAH-troh
5 cinque CHEEN-kway
6 sei say
7 sette SET-tay
8 otto OH-toh
9 nove NO-vay
10 dieci dee-YAY-chee
11 undici OON-dee-chee
12 dodici DOH-dee-chee
13 tredici TRAY-dee-chee
14 quattordici kwa-TOR-dee-chee
15 quindici KWEEN-dee-chee
16 sedici SAY-dee-chee
17 diciasette dee-chee-ya-SET-tay
18 diciotto dee-CHO-toh
19 diciannove dee-chee-ya-NO-vay
20 venti VENT-tee
21* vent'uno* vent-OO-no
22* venti due* VENT-tee DOO-way
23* venti tre* VENT-tee TRAY
30 trenta TRAYN-tah
40 quaranta kwa-RAHN-tah
50 cinquanta cheen-KWAN-tah
60 sessanta say-SAHN-tah
70 settanta seh-TAHN-tah
80 ottanta oh-TAHN-tah
90 novanta no-VAHN-tah
100 cento CHEN-toh
1,000 mille MEEL-lay
5,000 cinque milla CHEEN-kway MEEL-lah
10,000 dieci milla dee-YAY-chee MEEL-lah


* You can use this formula for all Italian ten-place numbers—so 31 is trent'uno, 32 is trenta due, 33 is trenta tre, etc. Note that—like uno (one), otto (eight) also starts with a vowel—all "-8" numbers are also abbreviated (vent'otto, trent'otto, etc.).