Friday, May 30, 2014

Friday Art & History Feature - Inside Italian Renaissance Palaces

Previously, I we've covered some French royal palaces (such as Versailles and Louvre) and the Hermitage in St. Petersburg, Russia. Today, I thought we could look at the Italian renaissance palaces.

We'll start with the personal summer residence of Popes, Castel Gandolfo.

The gardens at Castel Gandolfo
A grotto inside Castel Gandolfo

Our next stop is at the gorgeous Doge's Palace in Venice. It's style is Venetian Gothic, and it has been the primary residence of the Venetian Authority for hundreds of years. The current construction was done around 1170s. The Palace opened its doors as a museum in 1923.

Sala del Senato

Next, we move on to Palazzo Pitti in Florence. Built in 1450s to be a residence of a powerful Florentine banker Luca Pitti, it was eventually acquired by the Medici family in 1549. In 18th century it was used as a power base for Napoleon. It is now one of the biggest art galleries in Florence.

Galeria Palatina
Illiad Room

Next stop - Palazzo Ducale - Urbino. Actually one of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites, the palace was initially built for Duke Federico III da Montefeltro in mid fifteenth century. The seat of the ducal power for many  years, it was also used as a government building in the 19th and 20th centuries. It contains archives and a public collection of antique inscriptions and sculpture. Following renovations in 1985, the palace's subterranean network was also opened to public.

An interior court

(left) Door of the first floor (da Montefeltro period); (right) door of the second floor (della Rovere period) (

What are your favorite palaces around the world?

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