Artemisia is a plant that belongs to the Composite family.

The genus of mugwort includes many rustic perennial herbaceous or shrub plants, which can boast extremely branched roots, from which rosettes of gray-green leaves develop.

Artemisia is characterized by containing its active ingredients inside the leaves and in the flowering tops and is often used for the flavoring of liqueurs, including vermouth.

It is a plant that can reach one and a half meters in height, with a stem characterized by a reddish color, greenish-yellow flowers and of reduced size.

The leaves have a dark green color in the upper part, while they are particularly cottony and whitish in the lower part.

In any case, the whole mugwort plant is characterized by having an extremely strong aromatic smell, while it has a rather love flavor.


There are several species of mugwort that are characterized by spontaneous growth within the Italian territory; many prefer to spread along the sea coasts, while others develop near abandoned farmhouses or near railway embankments, or even in the Alpine regions, since they can grow up to 3000 meters above sea level.

In most cases, mugwort prefer limestone soils, light and absolutely not clayey.

As far as exposure is concerned, the species of mugwort prefers sunny and, at the same time, sheltered places; in addition, the characteristics of resistance to drought and the good scent allow it to be the ideal complement for rock gardens.

The reproduction of the mugwort plant takes place by sowing during the autumn season, or semi-woody layering can be prepared during the month of August.

The period in which the different parts of the plant that contain the active ingredients must be harvested essentially corresponds to the final part of the summer season.


Dioscorides recommends the mugwort plant to cause menstruation and to make childbirth faster, while Hippocrates used to advise it in all those ailments such as diarrhea.

Artemisia vulgaris was also included in the small circle of plants that were thought to be able to support the treatment against eplipsy.

Active ingredients and properties

The mugwort plant is characterized by being very rich in healing properties, since it can also count on a low content in essential oil and also due to the fact that it is not very toxic.

In addition, it can boast aromatic and digestive properties that are certainly less remarkable compared to those of absinthe: this explains why it is used rather rarely.

The most important active ingredients that can be found within mugwort are essential oil, camphor, borneol, vulgarol, carbides, flavonoids, inulin (inside the root).

The main pharmacodynamic actions that the mugwort plant is able to perform are the following: bitter, antimetralgic, antispasmodic, anthelmintic, antithermic, aromatic, exciting, emmenagogue, sedative and tonic.

The Chinese consider the mugwort plant to be extremely useful for a therapeutic treatment.

In any case, this plant is particularly effective in cases of amenorrhea, aphonia nervosa, uterine colic, convulsions, chorea, dysmenorrhea, menopausal disorders, epilepsy, flatulence, uterine inertia, hysteria and meteorism.

The literature does not speak of no significant secondary and toxic effects with respect to the recommended therapeutic doses, except in the case in which a particular sensitivity or allergy is not present at the individual level.

Like all other bitters, the use of mugwort is also not recommended in cases of gastric and duodenal ulcer.

Artemisia: Products

On the market we can find various artemisia-based products: these can be infusions, powders, fluid extracts and even essential oil.

As for how to take it, it is always better to ask your doctor for advice before starting a treatment or a specific therapy with artemisia-based products.

In any case, as regards the infusion, it is important to emphasize that three cups a day are sufficient (the amount corresponds to approximately one teaspoon in a cup of water).

In the case of mugwort powder, however, it can vary from two to four grams per day, while mugwort essential oil should not exceed thirty drops per day.

Mugwort syrup can be prepared with five grams of fluid extract mixed with 95 grams of sugar syrup: it must be taken in two or three teaspoons a day and allows it to perform a tonic and stimulating function of the nervous system and, consequently, also compared to the digestive one.

The decoction for external use must be boiled for at least ten minutes and, finally, a number of drops between 15 and 40 are recommended for the fluid extract, bearing in mind that one gram is equivalent to about 36 drops.

Palazzo Pitti

The Palazzo Pitti (Italian pronunciation: [paˈlattso ˈpitti]), in English sometimes called the Pitti Palace, is a vast, mainly Renaissance, palace in Florence, Italy. It is situated on the south side of the River Arno, a short distance from the Ponte Vecchio. The core of the present palazzo dates from 1458 and was originally the town residence of Luca Pitti, [1] an ambitious Florentine banker.

The palace was bought by the Medici family in 1549 and became the chief residence of the ruling families of the Grand Duchy of Tuscany. It grew as a great treasure house as later generations amassed paintings, plates, jewelry and luxurious possessions.

In the late 18th century, the palazzo was used as a power base by Napoleon and later served for a brief period as the principal royal palace of the newly united Italy. The palace and its contents were donated to the Italian people by King Victor Emmanuel III in 1919.

The palazzo is now the largest museum complex in Florence. The principal palazzo block, often in a building of this design known as the corps de logis, is 32,000 square meters. [2] It is divided into several principal galleries or museums detailed below.


Cancellation conditions (except for non-refundable rates)

You may cancel your booking up to 7 days before the check-in date. In the case of failure to show or late cancellation, you will be charged for one night's stay

Payment terms

Balance to be paid at check-in
For non-refundable discounted rates, when the facility requires it, the guest must pay in advance as indicated to complete the booking. Payment is not refunded in the event of a cancellation.

Rules of the house

Check-in time must be agreed in advance
Check-out time must be agreed in advance
For a booking including breakfast, breakfast is served from 7:00 AM to 10:00 AM
Municipal tax of € 1.00 per person per night is applicable. Children aged under 12 do not pay municipal tax
Only first linen change is provided
Rooms are cleaned every 2 days. To allow staff to clean, we recommend leaving the room at 10:00 AM
Final cleaning is included in the price
No meal preparation allowed in rooms
No guests allowed in rooms

Conditions for pets staying in this facility:
    Disabled Access Pets Allowed Breakfast included Historic House Romantic Atmosphere Parking Garden TV Free Wifi Family Business Hair dryer Fine Design Charm Heating

Various information

  • Disabled Access
  • Pets allowed
  • Parking
  • Internet access
  • English speaker
  • French speaker
  • German speaker

House features

  • Historic house
  • Recently restored house
  • Sharing areas available for guests
  • Panoramic location
  • Insured house

Air conditioning and heating systems of the house

  • Certified systems
  • Heating systems
  • Room temperature controller
  • Double glazing or solar panels

Electric system

  • Certified systems
  • Emergency lights or fire exit directions
  • Smoke and fire alarms
  • Photovoltaic or other forms of renewable energy

Services of the house

  • Garden
  • Terrace
  • Access for the disabled
  • Garage / parking

Facilities and services

  • Children games / babysitting
  • Laundry
  • Pets allowed

Location and surroundings

  • Panoramic view
  • Spa
  • Archeologic area / near monuments
  • Near (within 10 mins) pubblic transports
  • Near (within 45 mins) train station / airport / port

Number of rooms

  • Total number of rooms: 3
  • Number of rooms with own bathroom inside the room (ensuite): 1
  • Number of rooms with own bathroom but outside the room: 1
  • Number of rooms with shared bathroom: 1

Size of rooms

  • Between 10 and 14 sqm

Bathroom facilities

  • Bath tub
  • Bathrooms restored in the last 5 years
  • Hydromassage
  • Hair dryer
  • Single-dose products

Room facilities

  • Children bed
  • TV
  • Mirror or luggage case
  • Fridge
  • Internet connection or telephone

  • Historic furniture
  • Terrace / balcony
  • 2 windows / panoramic view
  • Desk / table and chairs
  • Sofa / armchairs

Cleaning services

  • Guides / maps / books available
  • Local events calendar
  • Guestbook
  • Discounts in local shops and restaurants for the guests
  • Shuttle service

Holiday themes - the place

Holiday themes - town size

  • Village - under 5000 in.

Holiday themes - area features

  • Near monuments
  • Arts or archeologic area
  • Cultural events and arts exhibitions
  • Wine and food attractions area
  • Local crafts
  • Shopping area
  • Located in country side or nature reserves
  • Near sports facilities
  • Spa
  • Gardens and landscapes
  • Near ski facilities

Holiday themes - house features

  • Historic house
  • Fine design
  • Charm
  • Garden
  • Family
  • Business
  • Romantic atmosphere

Alpinia Botanical Garden

The Alpinia Botanical Garden (4 hectares) is a botanical garden specializing in alpine plants, located at 800 m altitude above Stresa on Lake Maggiore, Province of Verbano-Cusio-Ossola, Piedmont, Italy. It can be reached via the Lido di Carciano - Alpino - Mottarone cable car, and is open daily in the warmer months.

The garden was established in 1934 with the name Duxia. Today it contains about 1,000 species, focusing mainly on the Alps and foothills, with additional specimens from the Caucasus, China, and Japan. Its collections include:

  • Artemisia (A. atrata, A. borealis, A. campestris, A. chamaemelifolia, A. genipi, A. Umbelliformis, A. vallesiaca)
  • Campanula (C. bononiensis, C. excisa, C. glomerata, C. spicata, C. thyrsoides)
  • Centaury (C. bracteata, C. cyanus, C. Montana, C. phrygia, C. scabiosa, C. triumfetti),
  • Dianthus (D. alpinus, D. carthusianorum, D. Segueri, D. sylvestris)
  • Geranium (G. argenteum, G. macrorrhizum, G. phaeum, G. pratense, G. sanguineum, G. sylvaticum)
  • Silene (S. alpestris, S. dioica, S. rupestris, S. saxifraga, S. vallesia).

Additional species are displayed on nearby walks. The garden's nature walk displays

  • Acer pseudoplatanus
  • Arundo donax
  • Betula pubescens
  • Cytisus scoparius
  • Fagus sylvatica
  • Frangula alnus
  • Fraxinus excelsior
  • Juniperus communis
  • Laburnum anagyroides
  • Lythrum salicaria
  • Sorbus air
  • S. aucuparia
  • Iris pseudacorus
  • I. sibirica
  • Myosotis scorpioides
  • Salix sp.
  • Scirpus sylvaticus
  • Silphium perfoliatum
  • Typha latifolia

The trail from Stresa to the Mottarone passes by:

  • Androsace vandellii
  • Campanula glomerata
  • Gentiana asclepiadea
  • G. kochiana
  • G. purpurea
  • Hypochoeris uniflora
  • Narcissus poeticus
  • Primula hirsuta
  • Rhododendron ferrugineum
  • Trollius europaeus
  • Veratrum album.

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  • 1 History
    • 1.1 Early history
    • 1.2 The Medici
  • 2 The courtyard and extensions
    • 2.1 Houses of Lorraine and Savoy
  • 3 Palatine Gallery
    • 3.1 Rooms of Palatine Gallery
    • 3.2 Principal works of art
  • 4 Other galleries
    • 4.1 Royal Apartments
    • 4.2 Gallery of Modern Art
    • 4.3 Grandukes Treasury
    • 4.4 Porcelain Museum
    • 4.5 Costume Gallery
    • 4.6 Carriages Museum
  • 5 The Palazzo today
  • 6 Pastiche
  • 7 Citations
  • 8 General references
  • 9 Further reading
  • 10 External links

Early history Edit

The construction of this severe and forbidding [3] building was commissioned in 1458 by the Florentine banker Luca Pitti (1398–1472), a principal supporter and friend of Cosimo de 'Medici. The early history of the Palazzo Pitti is a mixture of fact and myth. Pitti is alleged to have instructed that the windows be larger than the entrance of the Palazzo Medici. The 16th-century art historian Giorgio Vasari proposed that Brunelleschi was the palazzo's architect, and that his pupil Luca Fancelli was merely his assistant in the task, but today it is Fancelli who is generally credited. [4] Besides obvious differences from the elder architect's style, Brunelleschi died 12 years before construction of the palazzo began. The design and fenestration suggest that the unknown architect was more experienced in utilitarian domestic architecture than in the humanist rules defined by Alberti in his book De Re Aedificatoria. [5]

Though impressive, the original palazzo would have been no rival to the Florentine Medici residences in terms of either size or content. Whoever the architect of the Palazzo Pitti was, he was moving against the contemporary flow of fashion. The rusticated stonework gives the palazzo a severe and powerful atmosphere, reinforced by the three-times-repeated series of seven arch-headed apertures, reminiscent of a Roman aqueduct. The Roman-style architecture appealed to the Florentine love of the new style old-fashioned. This original design has withstood the test of time: the repetitive formula of the façade was continued during the subsequent additions to the palazzo, and its influence can be seen in numerous 16th-century imitations and 19th-century revivals. [5] Work stopped after Pitti suffered financial losses following the death of Cosimo de 'Medici in 1464. Luca Pitti died in 1472 with the building unfinished. [6]

The Medici Edit

The building was sold in 1549 to Eleonora di Toledo. Raised at the luxurious court of Naples, Eleonora was the wife of Cosimo I de 'Medici of Tuscany, later the Grand Duke. [4] On moving into the palace, Cosimo had Vasari enlarge the structure to fit his tastes the palace was more than doubled by the addition of a new block along the rear. Vasari also built the Vasari Corridor, an above-ground walkway from Cosimo's old palace and the seat of government, the Palazzo Vecchio, through the Uffizi, above the Ponte Vecchio to the Palazzo Pitti. [7] This enabled the Grand Duke and his family to move easily and safely from their official residence to the Palazzo Pitti. Initially the Palazzo Pitti was used mostly for lodging official guests and for occasional functions of the court, while the Medicis' principal residence remained the Palazzo Vecchio. It was not until the reign of Eleonora's son Francesco I and his wife Johanna of Austria that the palazzo was occupied on a permanent basis and became home to the Medicis' art collection. [8]

Land on the Boboli hill at the rear of the palazzo was acquired in order to create a large formal park and gardens, today known as the Boboli Gardens. [4] The landscape architect employed for this was the Medici court artist Niccolò Tribolo, who died the following year he was quickly succeeded by Bartolommeo Ammanati. The original design of the gardens center on an amphitheater, behind the corps de logis of the palazzo. [5] The first play recorded as performed there was Andria by Terence in 1476. It was followed by many classically inspired plays of Florentine playwrights such as Giovan Battista Cini. Performed for the amusement of the cultivated Medici court, they featured elaborate sets designed by the court architect Baldassarre Lanci. [9]

With the garden project well in hand, Ammanati turned his attentions to creating a large courtyard immediately behind the principal façade, to link the palazzo to its new garden. This courtyard has heavy-banded channeled rustication that has been widely copied, notably for the Parisian palais of Maria de 'Medici, the Luxembourg. In the principal façade Ammanati also created the kneeling windows ("kneeling" windows, in reference to their imagined resemblance to a prie-dieu, a device of Michelangelo's), replacing the entrance bays at each end. During the years 1558–70, Ammanati created a monumental staircase to lead with more pomp to the noble floor, and he extended the wings on the garden front that embraced a courtyard excavated into the steeply sloping hillside at the same level as the piazza in front, from which it was visible through the central arch of the basement. On the garden side of the courtyard Amannati constructed a grotto, called the "grotto of Moses" on account of the porphyry statue that inhabits it. On the terrace above it, level with the noble floor windows, Ammanati constructed a fountain centered on the axis it was later replaced by the Fountain of the Artichoke ("Fountain of the Artichoke"), designed by Giambologna's former assistant, Francesco Susini, and completed in 1641. [10]

In 1616, a competition was held to design extensions to the principal urban façade by three bays at either end. Giulio Parigi won the commission work on the north side began in 1618, and on the south side in 1631 by Alfonso Parigi. During the 18th century, two perpendicular wings were constructed by the architect Giuseppe Ruggeri to enhance and stress the widening of via Romana, which creates a piazza centered on the façade, the prototype of the cour d'honneur that was copied in France. Sporadic lesser additions and alterations were made for many years thereafter under other rulers and architects. [11]

To one side of the Gardens is the bizarre grotto designed by Bernardo Buontalenti. The lower façade was begun by Vasari but the architecture of the upper storey is subverted by "dripping" pumice stalactites with the Medici coat of arms at the center. The interior is similarly poised between architecture and nature the first chamber has copies of Michelangelo's four unfinished slaves emerging from the corners which seem to carry the vault with an open oculus at its center and painted as a rustic bower with animals, figures and vegetation. Figures, animals and trees made of stucco and rough pumice adorn the lower walls. A short passage leads to a small second chamber and to a third which has a central fountain with Giambologna's Venus in the center of the basin, peering fearfully over her shoulder at the four satyrs spitting jets of water at her from the edge. [12]

Houses of Lorraine and Savoy Edit

The palazzo remained the principal Medici residence until the last male Medici heir died in 1737. It was then occupied briefly by his sister, the elderly Electress Palatine on her death, the Medici dynasty became extinct and the palazzo passed to the new Grand Dukes of Tuscany , the Austrian House of Lorraine, in the person of Francis I, Holy Roman Emperor. [13] The Austrian tenancy was briefly interrupted by Napoleon, who used the palazzo during his period of control over Italy. [14]

When Tuscany passed from the House of Lorraine to the House of Savoy in 1860, the Palazzo Pitti was included. After the Risorgimento, when Florence was briefly the capital of the Kingdom of Italy, Victor Emmanuel II resided in the palazzo until 1871. His grandson, Victor Emmanuel III, presented the palazzo to the nation in 1919. [4] The palazzo and other buildings in the Boboli Gardens were then divided into five separate art galleries and a museum, housing not only many of its original contents, but priceless artefacts from many other collections acquired by the state. The 140 rooms open to the public are part of an interior, which is in large part a later product than the original portion of the structure, mostly created in two phases, one in the 17th century and the other in the early 18th century. Some earlier interiors remain, and there are still later additions such as the Throne Room. In 2005 the surprise discovery of forgotten 18th-century bathrooms in the palazzo revealed remarkable examples of contemporary plumbing very similar in style to the bathrooms of the 21st century. [15]

The Palatine Gallery, the main gallery of Palazzo Pitti, contains a large ensemble of over 500 principally Renaissance paintings, which were once part of the Medicis 'and their successors' private art collection. The gallery, which overflows into the royal apartments, contains works by Raphael, Titian, Perugino (Lamentation over the Dead Christ), Correggio, Peter Paul Rubens, and Pietro da Cortona. [16] The character of the gallery is still that of a private collection, and the works of art are displayed and hung much as they would have been in the grand rooms for which they were intended rather than following a chronological sequence, or arranged according to school of art.

The finest rooms were decorated by Pietro da Cortona in the high baroque style. Initially Cortona frescoed a small room on the noble floor called the Sala della Stufa with a series depicting the Four Ages of Man which were very well received the Age of Gold and Age of Silver were painted in 1637, followed in 1641 by the Age of Bronze and Age of Iron. They are regarded among his masterpieces. The artist was subsequently asked to fresco the grand ducal reception rooms a suite of five rooms at the front of the palazzo. In these five Planetary Rooms, the hierarchical sequence of the deities is based on Ptolomeic cosmology Venus, Apollo, Mars, Jupiter (the Medici Throne room) and Saturn, but minus Mercury and the Moon which should have come before Venus. These highly ornate ceilings with frescoes and elaborate stucco work essentially celebrate the Medici lineage and the bestowal of virtuous leadership. [17] Cortona left Florence in 1647, and his pupil and collaborator, Ciro Ferri, completed the cycle by the 1660s. They were to inspire the later Planet Rooms at Louis XIV's Versailles, designed by Le Brun.

The collection was first opened to the public in the late 18th century, albeit rather reluctantly, by Grand Duke Leopold, Tuscany's first enlightened ruler, keen to obtain popularity after the demise of the Medici. [10]

Rooms of Palatine Gallery Edit

The Palatine Gallery has 28 rooms, among them: [18]

  • Room of Castagnoli: named after the painter of the ceiling frescoes. In this room are exposed Portraits of the Medici and Lorraine ruling families, and the Table of the Muses, a masterwork of stone-inlaid table realized by the Opificio delle Pietre Dure between 1837 and 1851.
  • Room of the Ark: contains a painting by Giovan Battista Caracciolo (17th century). In 1816, the ceiling was frescoed by Luigi Ademollo with Transportation of the Ark of the Covenant Containing the Tablets of the Law.
  • Room of Psyche: was named after ceiling frescoes by Giuseppe Collignon it contains paintings by Salvator Rosa from 1640–1650.
  • Hall of Poccetti: The frescoes on the vault were once ascribed to Bernardino Poccetti, but now attributed to Matteo Rosselli. In the center of the hall is a table (1716) commissioned by Cosimo III. In the hall are also some works by Rubens and Pontormo.
  • Room of Prometheus: was named after the subject of the frescoes by Giuseppe Collignon (19th century) and contains a large collection of round-shaped paintings: among them is the Madonna with the Child by Filippino Lippi (15th century), two portraits by Botticelli and paintings by Pontormo and Domenico Beccafumi.
  • Room of Justice: has a ceiling frescoed by Antonio Fedi (1771–1843), and displays portraits (16th century) by Titian, Tintoretto and Paolo Veronese.
  • Room of Ulysses: was frescoed in 1815 by Gaspare Martellini, it contains early works by Filippino Lippi and Raphael.
  • Room of Iliad: contains the Madonna of the Family Panciatichi and the Madonna Passerini (c- 1522-1523 and 1526 respectively) by Andrea del Sarto, and paintings by Artemisia Gentileschi (17th century).
  • Room of Saturn: contains a Portrait of Agnolo Doni (1506), the Madonna of the chair(1516), and Portrait of Cardinal Inghirami (1516) by Raphael it also contains an Annunciation(1528) by Andrea del Sarto, and Jesus and the Evangelists (1516) by Fra Bartolomeo.
  • Room of Jupiter: contains the Veiled Lady, the famous portrait by Raphael (1516) that, according to Vasari, represents the woman loved by the artist. Among the other works in the room, Paintings by Rubens, Andrea del Sarto and Perugin
  • Room of Mars: is characterized by works by Rubens: the allegories representing the Consequences of War (hence the name of the room) and the Four Philosophers (among them Rubens portrayed himself, on the left). On the vault is a fresco by Pietro da Cortona, Triumph of the Medici.
  • Room of Apollo: contains a Madonna with Saints (1522) by Il Rosso, originally from the Church of Santo Spirito, and two paintings by Titian: a Magdalen and Portrait of an English Nobleman (between 1530 and 1540).
  • Room of Venus: contains the Venus Italica (1810) by Canova commissioned by Napoleon. On the walls are landscapes (1640–50) by Salvator Rosa and four paintings by Titian, 1510–1545. Among the Titian paintings is a Portrait of Pope Julius II (1545) and The beautiful (1535).
  • White Hall: once the ball room of the palace, is characterized by the white decorations and is often used for temporary exhibitions.

The Royal Apartments includes 14 rooms. Their decoration has been changed to Empire style by the Savoy, but there are still some rooms maintaining decorations and furniture from the age of the Medici.

The Green Room, was frescoed by Giuseppe Castagnoli in early 19th Century. It exhibits an Intarsia Cabinet from the 17th century and a Collection of Gilded Bronzes the Throne Room was decorated for King Vittorio Emanuele II of Savoy and is characterized by the red brocate on the walls and by the Japanese and Chinese Vases (17th-18th century) .

The Blue Room contains collected Furniture (17th-18th century) and the Portraits of members of the Medici Family painted by Justus Sustermans (1597–1681).

Principal works of art Edit

The Grand Duke Madonna. 84 × 55 cm.

Madonna of the Canopy. 276 × 224 cm.

Portrait of Agnolo Doni. 63 × 45 cm.

Woman with a Veil. 82 × 60 cm.

Madonna of the Chair. Diameter 71 cm.

Vision of Ezekiel. 41 × 30 cm.

Portrait of Tommaso Inghirami. 90 × 62 cm.

Raphael and Assistants
Madonna of the Bedding. 158 × 125 cm.

The Pregnant Woman. 66 × 52 cm.

Christ the Redeemer. 78 × 55 cm.

The Concert. 87 × 124 cm.

Isabella d'Este. 100 × 75 cm.

Portrait of Vicenzo Monti. 85 × 67 cm.

Portrait of Pope Julius II. 99 × 82 cm.

Mary Magdalene. 84 × 69 cm.

Pieter Paul Rubens
The Four Philiosophers. 167 × 143 cm.

Pieter Paul Rubens
The Consequences of War. 206 × 342 cm.

Pieter Paul Rubens
The Holy Family. 114 × 80 cm.

Anthony van Dyck
Cardinal Guido Bentivoglio. 195 × 147 cm.

Filippo Lippi
Bartolini Tondo. Diameter 135 cm

Caravaggio, Fra Antonio Martelli. 118 × 95 cm.

Three Ages of Man. 62 × 77 cm.

St. Jerome. 41 × 27 cm.

Sleeping Cupid. 72 × 105 cm.

Paolo Veronese
Gentleman in a Lynx Fur. 140 × 107 cm.

Fra Bartolomeo
Lamentation. 158 × 199 cm.

Andrea del Sarto
Pieta with Saints. 239 × 199 cm.

Royal Apartments Edit

This is a suite of 14 rooms, formerly used by the Medici family, and lived in by their successors. [16] These rooms have been largely altered since the era of the Medici, most recently in the 19th century. They contain a collection of Medici portraits, many of them by the artist Giusto Sustermans. [19] In contrast to the great salons containing the Palatine collection, some of these rooms are much smaller and more intimate, and, while still grand and gilded, are more suited to day-to-day living requirements. Period furnishings include four-poster beds and other necessary furnishings not found elsewhere in the palazzo. The Kings of Italy last used the Palazzo Pitti in the 1920s. [20] By that time it had already been converted to a museum, but a suite of rooms in the Meridian wing (now the Gallery of Modern Art) was reserved for them when visiting Florence officially.

Gallery of Modern Art Edit

This gallery originates from the remodeling of the Florentine academy in 1748, when a gallery of Modern Art was established. [21] The gallery was intended to hold those art works which were prize-winners in the academy's competitions. The Palazzo Pitti was being redecorated on a grand scale at this time and the new works of art were being collected to adorn the newly decorated salons. By the mid-19th century so numerous were the Grand Ducal paintings of modern art that many were transferred to the Palazzo della Crocetta [it], which became the first home of the newly formed "Modern Art Museum".

Following the Risorgimento and the expulsion of the Grand Ducal family from the palazzo, all the Grand Ducal modern art works were brought together under one roof in the newly titled "Modern gallery of the Academy". [21] The collection continued to expand, particularly so under the patronage of Vittorio Emanuele II. However it was not until 1922 that this gallery was moved to the Palazzo Pitti where it was complemented by further modern works of art in the ownership of both the state and the municipality of Florence. The collection was housed in apartments recently vacated by members of the Italian Royal family. [22] The gallery was first opened to public viewing in 1928.

Today, further enlarged and spread over 30 rooms, this large collection includes works by artists of the Macchiaioli movement and other modern Italian schools of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. [23] The pictures by the Macchiaioli artists are of particular note, as this school of 19th-century Tuscan painters led by Giovanni Fattori were early pioneers and the founders of the impressionist movement. [24] The title "gallery of modern art" to some may sound incorrect, as the art in the gallery covers the period from the 18th to the early 20th century. No examples of later art are included in the collection since In Italy, "modern art" refers to the period before World War II what has followed is generally known as "contemporary art" (contemporary art). In Tuscany this art can be found at the Luigi Pecci Contemporary Art Center at Prato, a city about 15 km (9 mi) from Florence.

Grandukes Treasury Edit

The Silver Museum (Museo degli Argenti), now called "The Grandukes Treasury" (Tesoro dei Granduchi), contains a collection of priceless silver, cameos, and works in semi-precious gemstones, many of the latter from the collection of Lorenzo de ' Medici, including his collection of ancient vases, many with delicate silver gilt mounts added for display purposes in the 15th century. These rooms, formerly part of the private royal apartments, are decorated with 17th-century frescoes, the most splendid being by Giovanni da San Giovanni, from 1635 to 1636. The Silver Museum also contains a fine collection of German gold and silver artefacts purchased by Grand Duke Ferdinand after his return from exile in 1815, following the French occupation. [25]

Porcelain Museum Edit

First opened in 1973, this museum is housed in the Casino del Cavaliere in the Boboli Gardens. [26] The porcelain is from many of the most notable European porcelain factories, with Sèvres and Meissen near Dresden being well represented. Many items in the collection were gifts to the Florentine rulers from other European sovereigns, while other works were specially commissioned by the Grand Ducal court. Of particular note are several large dinner services by the Vincennes factory, later renamed Sèvres, and a collection of small biscuit figurines.

Costume Gallery Edit

Situated in a wing known as the "Palazzina della Meridiana [it] ", this gallery contains a collection of theatrical costumes dating from the 16th century until the present. It is also the only museum in Italy detailing the history of Italian fashions. [27] One of the newer collections to the palazzo, it was founded in 1983 by Kirsten Aschengreen Piacenti a suite of fourteen rooms, the Meridiana apartments, were completed in 1858. [28]

In addition to theatrical costumes, the gallery displays garments worn between the 18th century and the present day. Some of the exhibits are unique to the Palazzo Pitti these include the 16th-century funeral clothes of Grand Duke Cosimo I de' Medici, and his wife Eleonora of Toledo and their son Garzia, both of whom died of malaria. Their bodies would have been displayed in state wearing their finest clothes, before being reclad in plainer attire before interment. The gallery also exhibits a collection of mid-20th century costume jewellery. The Sala Meridiana originally sponsored a functional solar meridian instrument, built into the fresco decoration by Anton Domenico Gabbiani.

Carriages Museum Edit

This ground floor museum exhibits carriages and other conveyances used by the Grand Ducal court mainly in the late 18th and 19th century. The extent of the exhibition prompted one visitor in the 19th century to wonder, "In the name of all that is extraordinary, how can they find room for all these carriages and horses". [29] Some of the carriages are highly decorative, being adorned not only by gilt but by painted landscapes on their panels. Those used on the grandest occasions, such as the "Carrozza d'Oro" (golden carriage), are surmounted by gilt crowns which would have indicated the rank and station of the carriage's occupants. Other carriages on view are those used by the King of the Two Sicilies, and Archbishops and other Florentine dignitaries.

Today, transformed from royal palace to museum, the Palazzo is in the hands of the Italian state. Once under the "Polo Museale Fiorentino", an institution which administers twenty museums, from 2015 it is a department of the Uffizi Gallery, as a separate and independent structure within the Ministry of Cultural Properties and Activities, and has ultimate responsibility for 250,000 catalogued works of art. [30] In spite of its metamorphosis from royal residence to a state-owned public building, the palazzo, sitting on its elevated site overlooking Florence, still retains the air and atmosphere of a private collection in a grand house. This is to a great extent due to the "Amici di Palazzo Pitti" (Friends of the Palazzo Pitti), an organisation of volunteers and patrons founded in 1996, which raises funds and makes suggestions for the ongoing maintenance of the palazzo and the collections, and for the continuing improvement of their visual display. [31]

Artemisia - giardino

Behind the Commonwealth Institute and west of Kensington Palace, you can find Holland Park, one of the most romantic parks in London.

Beautiful woods and formal gardens surround the reconstructed Jacobean Holland House, named after an early owner, Sir Henry, Earl of Holland.

The house suffered serious bomb damage during World War II and only the ground floor and arcades survived the restored east wing contains the most romantically sited youth hostel in town, while the summer ballroom has been converted into a stylish contemporary restaurant, THE BELVEDERE.

Open-air theatre and opera under an elegant canopy are staged in the park during the summer, and for children there is an adventure playground with tree-walks and rope swings, while tame rabbits, squirrels and peacocks patrol the grounds.

Most important is Kyoto Japanese Garden that provides a calm for the atmosphere.

Further along Piccadilly stands Green Park, the smallest of all central London parks, lacking the ornithological delights of St. James’s Park to the south-east and the grand expanses of Hyde Park to the north-west.

Green Park contains long avenues of trees among grass that is covered with crocuses and daffodils in spring.

Picnics are popular here in fine weather: People who work around Piccadilly, as well as schoolchildren, take advantage of the shade under the trees.

Regent’s Park was built in 1811 according to the plans of John Nash who had already worked on St James’s and Green Park.

In the north part there is Primrose Hill which commands wonderful views of Westminster and the city of London. We can also find in this zone many important zoological gardens.

In the inner circle, there are Queen Mary’s gardens where you can admire the beautiful plantation of roses that perfume the air with their fragrance.

During the summer you can watch Shakespeare plays in the open air theatre.

Boat excursions are possible on Regent’s Canal, there is also a small lake in the area called Little Venice.

Other attractions are: tennis courts, playing areas for children and grounds for cricket, rugby, football and golf.

In origin St. James’s Park was fenland. Then Henry VIII drained it and he annexed it as his private park where he often hunted.

Afterwards Charles II put in St. James’s Park a large bird cage which gives its name to Birdcage Walk.

St. James’s Park is a very famous place near Green Park, the smallest royal park in London.

St. James’s Park has a wonderful view over Whitehall.

During summer there are band concerts near the small lake which is home to ducks and pelicans.

Hyde Park dates back to 1536 and it was mainly used for hunting. It was kept its tradition for open-air events and nowadays it’s especially known for its “Speaker’s corner”, the meeting place of soapbox orators. But it offers many leisure activities such as swimming, boating on the Serpentine Lake, fishing, riding horses, bowling, tennis, bicycle riding and concerts. There is a special area for children to play and extensive gardens for leisurely people.

Kensington Gardens were separated from Hyde Park in 1689 and extended in the 18th century. The Italian gardens, the Albert Memorial and the statue of Peter Pan are distinctive features of this park.

There are many interesting attractions such as the Orangerie, which is an open-air restaurant, two playgrounds for children and a theatre.

Video: The Story Of Artemisia