Giardino di Boboli

sights / Parks & gardens

Giardino di Boboli information

Location
Florence , Italy
Address
Piazza Pitti
Prices
adult/reduced/child €7/3.50/free
Opening hours
8.15am-7pm summer, shorter hrs winter
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Behind Palazzo Pitti, the Boboli Gardens laid out in the mid-16th century to a design by architect Niccolò Pericoli are a prime example of a formal Tuscan garden and they are lovely to wander. At the upper, southern limit, beyond the box-hedged rose garden and Museo delle Porcellane , fantastic views over the Florentine countryside fan out.

Highlights of this wonderful airy garden, blessed with plenty of statues and hidden paths between trees, include a rather neglected Cypress Alley , the walled Giardino del Cavaliere (Knights' Garden), and Isoletto , a gorgeous ornamental pool. Typical Renaissance, the 18th-century orangery (closed to visitors) is where 500-odd citrus trees keep snug in winter. The 17th-century maze, a Tuscan horticultural standard, was razed in the 1830s to make way for a driveway for carriages. The monumental 'face' sculpture (1998) is by Polish sculptor Igor Mitoraj (b 1944), who lives in Pietrasanta near Carrara today.

By the garden exit, hundreds of seashells decorate the facade of Grotta del Buontalenti , a fanciful grotto by Giambologna. Peer inside to see Venere (Venus) rising from the waves. The wall, smothered with the foliage of orange trees to the left of the grotto is the outer facade of the final leg of the legendary Vasarian Corridor , linking the Uffizi with Plazzo Pitti.