Restored and opened to the public, the old Grand Ducal kitchen of the Pitti Palace, the Cucinone, where since the Medici period up to the Savoy were cooked meals for the great Court.
The Cucinone can be visited and entrance is included in the ticket price of the museum circuit Palatine Gallery – Gallery of Modern Art of Pitti Palace.
There is also the possibility to be accompanied by a member of the Palatine Gallery staff from Tuesday to Sunday: in the morning at 10.30 and at 11.30; in the afternoon at 15.30 and 16.30; The meeting place is set to the desk museum, a few minutes before the start of the visit.
One of the first actions carried out under the reign of Ferdinando I de’ Medici, after finally transferred the grand-ducal residence in Palazzo Pitti, was the construction of new kitchens, started from 1588, to free the monumental courtyard of these service functions. The new building was realized outside the palace and connected to it by a short covered bridge to the portion of the first floor, as it appears in the lunette that Giusto Utens painted at the end of ‘500. The work was completed in 1599 in occasion of the Maria de’ Medici wedding, daughter of the late Grand Duke Francesco I, the king of France Henry IV; the great banquet took place at the Palazzo Vecchio in the evening of 5 October of the following year, but the festivities continued in the following days also in the royal palace of Pitti.
Today of the original nucleus only survives the environment defined in the records of the accounting works as “common kitchen”, a place dedicated to the preparation of food for the grand ducal court and guests of the palace. In plants designed in the late 17th century by the wardrobe of the court, Giacinto Maria Marmi, this space was identified as the “secret kitchen” in the literal sense of reserved. Subsequently, in the Lorraine age, when they were added new furnaces and new hoods painted in the color of the air in vogue in the period, the environment became known as “real kitchen”.
Prominent feature of the kitchen is still the magnificent fireplace with lintel formed by a lintel of oblique ashlars and with the hood made around 1598-1599, probably on a design of Bernardo Buontalenti.
The space between the furnace and the hood of one of the Lorraine chimneys is covered by ambrogette floral decorated probably by Ginori. To give clarity to the whole, the old tiles have been cleaned and restored, while those missing have been integrated with other new bill, recognizable from a cream background and made imitating the original design.
The staging environment comprises a set of kitchen utensils: pots, pans and even pudding molds from copper of various sizes, in addition to mortars with pestles in wood and ladles made of brass. These kitchen tools are useful to evoke the atmosphere of the time and the life of the court.