The restoration of the Medici kitchens, the so-called cucinone, has been completed and is open to public only through guided visits by the personnel of the Palatine Gallery from Tuesday to Sunday (10:30–11:30 a.m. and 3:30–4:40 p.m.). The restoration had begun earlier this year and cost approximately €100,000.
The cucinone was 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, which took place in the fall of 1600. In the period between 1631 and 1640, the kitchens became part of the Palace, while in the following century, the kitchens underwent several important transformations in their architecture. After WWII, the kitchens went into disuse and slowly deteriorated and were even used as a storage space for the furniture of the Galleria Palatina.
It was in the early months of 2015 that the kitchen started to undergo reconstruction. Now, visitors to the palace are able to see this quotidian part of living at the palace, which was sophisticated with its fireplaces, ovens, sinks and various utensils.
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 also to view the utensils that were commonly used in each era that the kitchen was used. It is fitting that the re-opening of the palace coincides with the food themed Expo in Milan.