The original Pitti Palace was a much smaller affair than that we see today.
Shortly after Eleonora of Toledo purchased the Pitti, Bartolomeo Ammannati,
along with Niccoló Pericoli ("Tribolo"), began the work of transforming
the palace and the hillside behind it. Ammannati was commissioned to enlarge
the palace and create a courtyard. He redesigned the facade and added the
two rectangular wings which extend towards the gardens. The courtyard is considered
Ammannati's masterpiece and a good example of the Mannerist style, as is the
rest of the Pitti Palace. Many festivities and ceremonies of the Medici court
were performed here, including a naval battle which required the flooding
of the entire area, as well as the wedding of Ferdinand I and Cristina of
Lorraine in 1589. Among Ammannati's other great accomplishments are the great
fountain in the hall of the Cinquecento at the Palazzo Vecchio, the design
of the Ponte di S. Trinitá , the large Fountain of Neptune in the Piazza
Signoria, and the vestibule of the Laurentian Library (Biblioteca Laurenziana),
next to the Medici Chapel in Piazza San Lorenzo.