home CITY BEAT Lifting the Lid on Palazzo Pitti’s Cucinone

Lifting the Lid on Palazzo Pitti’s Cucinone



Marine Le Canne


The restoration of one of the most interesting and lesser-known parts of Palazzo Pitti, the so-called cucinone (large kitchens), is now complete. The restoration began earlier this year and cost approximately €100,000.


With their fireplaces, ovens, sinks, and various utensils, the cucinone were originally built in the years between 1588 and 1599, in time for the celebrations of the marriage between Maria de’ Medici and Henry IV, King of France, and were used to prepare food for three dynasties of Italian nobility: the Medici, Lorraine, and Savoy families.


In the period between 1631 and 1640, the kitchens became part of the building complex, while in the following century, the kitchen area underwent several important transformations in architecture. After WWII they fell into disuse and slowly deteriorated, and were even used to store furniture from the Palatine Gallery.


Visitors to Palazzo Pitti are now able to explore the sophisticated aspects of everyday living that took place in its grand rooms and monumental apartments. With the restoration complete, it is possible to envision the work that went on to prepare dinners for the Grand Duke and his guests, and view the utensils that were commonly used in different eras. The opening is part of Polo Museale Fiorentino’s series of exhibitions commemorating the Milan Expo theme of ‘Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life’ with a focus on Florentine and Tuscan culinary heritage.   

The cucinone are open from Tuesday to Sunday (10:30–11:30 a.m. and 3:30–4:40 p.m.) on tours guided by museum personnel.


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