I promised myself that this trip to Florence would not pass by without a visit to Palazzo Pitti, a sprawling palace turned museum where some of the most iconic Italian designers of our time showcased their first collections. Like in every Italian city at this time of year, when streets are crowded with tourists, finding your way around is a breeze and to make your way to the most famous attractions, simply follow the hordes of people and make use of basic Italian phrases to confirm your location with eager-to-help residents. So to reach Palazzo Pitti, this is exactly what I did. Once we completed our golden walk across the Ponte Vecchio, we continued straight down the main road, Via Guicciardini, to find ourselves in Piazza Pitti, staring up at the huge solid stone building.
A ticket inside with access to three galleries and the Boboli Gardens, cost between 10 and 12 Euros per person so we opted to see the porcelain collection, the silver collection and of course, for me, the most exciting was sure to be the costume gallery. We entered the courtyard, handed our heavy luggage in for safe-keeping and then climbed several flights of muscle-toning stairs to reach the porcelain gallery. Tourists are not allowed to take photographs of any of the items inside so I don’t have any pictures to share of the ornaments or costumes but I can do my best to wet your appetite for a trip to Florence with words. Exquisite gowns designed by the likes of Emilio Pucci and Roberto Cavalli are protected in glass cabinets preserving a history of Italian fashion and the creations that shaped the way we dress. The development of human clothing is traced as far back to early Medieval, Indian and African origins with the biggest shoe that I have ever seen on display.
According to my Florence guidebook, the best view of the city can be seen from the top of the Boboli Gardens, so a visit to Florence would be incomplete without a leisurely walk through this dense foliage to the Neptune Fountain and beyond where I could print this glorious vision of tree tops and domes in my mind.