The vast palace was bought by the Medici family in 1549 from a Florentine banker Buonaccorso Pitti. Giorgio Vasari enlargened the palace, added the famous Vasari Corridor and the palace served as the main residence of the Florentine rulers until 1871.
The wife of Cosimo I de' Medici commissioned the Medici court artist Niccolò Tribolo to design a large park on the Boboli hill behind the palace. Bartolomeo Ammannati continued with his work after Tribolo's death and also created a large courtyard which links the palace and the garden.
Today it is the largest museum complex in Florence. It houses the Palatine Gallery with 28 rooms filled with Renaissance paintings by Raphael, Titian or Rubens. You can also visit the Royal Apartments that were used by the Medici family and their successors. Some of the rooms were turned into a gallery of modern art which displays mainly artworks of the Macchiaioli movement.
The complex also includes the Silver Museum, Porcelain Museum, Costume Gallery and Carriages Museum.
For more information concerning opening hours of specific museums, be sure to check the official website.