After several months of renovation work, Palazzo Pitti welcomes back an important piece of its museum.
In the southernmost wing of Palazzo Pitti, thanks to the combined work of the Palatine Gallery, the Polo Museale Fiorentino and the Ente Cassa di Risparmio di Firenze, the cucinone (or grand kitchen) is now open to guided tours.
With a total cost of around 100,000 euro, the kitchen has been restored to look as it did in ages past. It showcases artistic and architectural examples of what would have been found during the time of the Medici and the Savoy families, who for five years between 1865 and 1870 made Florence the capital of the Kingdom of Italy.
The reopening is perfectly timed in concert with the Expo in Milan and its theme, “Feeding the Planet, Food for Life”.
The land for the kitchen was acquired along with the same grounds eventually used to build the Boboli Gardens by Cosimo I in 1549. On the orders of Ferdinand I, construction of the kitchen began in 1588 and lasted until 1599.
Resembling more of a complex than a kitchen, it is comprised of a series of rooms, closets, hallways and courtyards, all separate from the main building of Palazzo Pitti. Especially during the era of Ferdinand I and Cosimo II, the cucinone was used to service frequent awe-inspiring parties, banquets and various other events.
The cucinone can be seen only with a Palatine Gallery tour guide from Monday to Sunday, 10.30-11.30am and 3.30-4.30pm.
All photos by Andrea Paoletti