The Grand Ducal Kitchen at the Palazzo Pitti can only be visited as part of a private guided tour, which are offered free of charge to those who have paid to access the palace complex and they just require visitors to put their name down. I think it’s fair to say that there wasn’t a big rush for spaces on the English speaking tour, so Richard and I were the only two people initially, with someone else who didn’t really speak English then adding their name down just before we got started.
So, the three of us set off with the very enthusiastic guide and it started with a quick tour of the King’s Apartments, which are en route to the kitchen and are also closed off to visitors not on this tour.
The kitchen was large and spacious, but still dominated by this enormous chimney which was installed in around 1599 as part of the project led by Bernardo Buontalenti.
The view from the bottom of the chimney and looking up.
Some views of the kitchen as it now looks, which reflects how it might have appeared in the nineteenth century. Meals were cooked here for the main palace and there are corridors that connected this grand kitchen, located to the side of the house, to the main rooms. The kitchen was restored relatively recently, as for the best part of the last century this area had been used for storage and had been somewhat forgotten about.