The Museum of Costume and Fashion located in Palazzo Pitti is back to its former glory

The Museum of Costume and Fashion located in Palazzo Pitti is back to its former glory

There’s something new in Florence’s already abundant cultural offerings: the Museum of Costume and Fashion located in Palazzo Pitti, part of the Uffizi Gallery complex.

The Museum of Costume and Fashion opens its doors after having been closed for three years due to both restoration works and the pandemic. It does so with 12 rooms dedicated to 20th-century fashion, albeit keeping a significant archive of historical pieces dating back to the time when the Medici ruled the city.

Despite there being a number of splendid fashion museums throughout Italy, all too often they are dedicated to the work of a single designer (examples of which would be Armani/Silos, Museo Salvatore Ferragamo, Museo Fortuny). Inaugurated in 1983, the Pitti Gallery is the first public museum dedicated to the history of fashion in Italy, and its cultural importance. On display today, there are more than 15,000 clothing items from the collection, with the oldest dating back to the 16th century.

The renovated rooms are located in the Palazzina Meridiana, partly belonging to Palazzo Pitti. The Palazzo was known to be a dwelling of the Medici, despite the fact that it had been built by one of their arch enemies, namely local banker Luca Pitti, hence the name. The nearby Uffizi had originally been designed to be the Medici’s administrative building, hence the more archaic term “uffizi” to state its purpose a public office.

The palazzo has also played a role in the history of contemporary Italian fashion: its Sala Bianca has in fact hosted a number of major fashion shows from 1952 to 1982.

10 more rooms are scheduled to open this coming spring. The contents on display there will take visitors even further back in time, with clothes from the 1800s and others dating back to the 1500s. Jewelry lovers will be pleased to hear that there will also be a room dedicated to historical jewels.