Piazza Pitti is one of the most visited squares in Florence. This is mainly because of the Palazzo Pitti, a historic building with a number of museums. It is one of the few squares in the city without a church.
Piazza Pitti Florence
Location, opening hours and admission
Piazza Pitti is located at the end of Via Guicciardini. The square is free of charge.
Piazza Pitti was constructed in 1440. The wealthy banker Luca Pitti wanted to build a large palace that would symbolize the wealth and power of his family.
In order to show off his wealth even more clearly, he also had the square built. He bought all the buildings along a part of the current Via Guicciardini (then called Borgo di Piazza). He then had these houses demolished. The square created in this way was called Via del Palagio dei Pitti.
Unfortunately, the banker had overestimated his own wealth and underestimated the costs. The construction of both the palace itself and the square had to be interrupted.
In 1549 Eleonora of Toledo bought the palace, which was expanded from that moment on.
In the 18th century part of the square was occupied by two new wings of the palace. These were designed by Giuseppe Ruggeri and Pasquale Poccianti. Part of the old Palazzo Guicciardini was then demolished to make the shape of the square more symmetrical.
Until 1993 the square served as a parking place for cars and, especially, tourist buses. After having been re-paved, it was closed off from traffic by a chain.
Tourist Attractions Piazza Pitti
Of the buildings opposite the famous Palazzo Pitti only a few survived the 15th century destruction.
One of these buildings is a second Palazzo Pitti, as testified by the coat of arms attached to its façade. From 1397 to 1482 the astronomer and mathematician Paolo del Pozzo Toscanelli lived in this palace. He was responsible for making maps, among other things. Some of these maps were used by Columbus on his way to “India”.
In the adjoining building the Russian writer Dostoyevsky used to live while writing his novel “The Idiot”.