Palazzo Reale (Royal Palace) was built in 1583 by Bernardo Buontalenti for Francesco I de’ Medici, to replace the Medici Palace located near the Church of San Matteo.
The palace was built by merging some medieval buildings dating back to the 11th and 12th centuries and partly still visible – that of the Counts Gaetani of Terriccio, Pomaya and d’Oriseo (the Tower of the Verga d’Oro and the Tower of the Canton), and was remodeled several times, during the 17th and 19th centuries.
On an alley behind the palace, we can see the round arches of a medieval building, now lowered due to the rising of the floor, and from the courtyard, we can see an ancient tower, with an arched portal, two small windows with a pentagonal architrave and a single-lancet window higher up. On the ground floor of the courtyard, we can also see the remains of a loggia, with two columns with capitals, partially abraded.
The Medici court met here mainly in winter, and among its guests were the scientists Galileo Galilei and Francesco Redi, who died here on March 1, 1697.
In the 18th century, the palace passed to the Lorena family, and took the name of Reale (Royal) when it became the Savoy’s residence. In 1919, Palazzo Reale passed to the Italian State.
Since 1989, the palace hosts the National Museum, which preserves numerous testimonies of the families who inhabited it, consisting of paintings, portraits, furnishings, tapestries and armor.
HOW TO GET THERE
Palazzo Reale is located about 1 kilometer from the Pisa Centrale train station, or about 15 minutes on foot. The closest bus station is Pacinotti 1, located right in front of the palace, on the bus Lines 2, 4, 5, 13, 21, 22, LAM Rossa, LAM Verde and Navetta E.