Gardens of Boboli
Related Topics:

Omero Benvenuti: Artisan workshop for traditional Florentine marble paper and artistic bookbinding.

Stefania Masini: Antique furniture, curiosities from the past, vintage and art creations.

Church of San Felice in Piazza
Gallery of Costume
Gallery of Modern Art
Museum of Carriages
Museum of Porcelain
Museum of Silver
Palatine Gallery and Royal Apartments
Pitti Palace
Pitti Square
Romana Gate
Specola Museum

 

Tourist informations
Entrance from: Palazzo Pitti, Piazza Pitti 1.
Opening hours: November-February: 8,15AM-4,30PM; March: 8,15AM-5,30PM; April, May, September, October: 8,15AM-6,30PM; June-August: 8,15AM-7,30PM. Closed on the first and last Monday in the month.
Admission ticket: Euro 6. It si valid for 3 days and includes entrance to Museum of Porcelains, Costume Gallery, Museum of Silver and Bardini Garden.

The Gardens of Boboli are located right behind Pitti Palace; they are among the largest parks in Florence (45,000 square meters) and represent an excellent example of Italian gardens of 16th Century.

History - In the spotlight

 History


The origin of the name Boboli is uncertain and no informations about the Gardens are available for the years between 1469 (when Pitti Palacewas built) and 1549 (when Eleanor of Toledo, wife of Cosimo I de' Medici, bought the palace and the gardens).
After the Medici moved to Pitti Palace, a great transformation of the Gardens was begun, under direction of architects Ammannati, Buontalenti and then Giulio and Alfonso Parigi. The last of them completed in 1634 the great amphitheater, which was inaugurated in 1637 with a spectacle for the wedding of Ferdinando II de' Medici. In the first halfth of the 16th Century was built the imposant Vasca dell'Isolotto, with the Ocean Fountain by Giambologna.
After the Dukes of Lorraine came to Florence (1739) the Gardens of Boboli were modified by the architect Jadot, who worked at the Schönbrunn palace in Vienna. From 1766 Pietro Leopoldo of Lorraine opened the Gardens to visitors: in this time Zanobi del Rosso built the Kaffeehaus pavillon and the Gardens were decorated with several ancient roman statues.
In the 19th Century Boboli was in part transformed, and subsequently restored by Ferdinando III.


Click to enlarge pictures.

In the years of Florence capital of Italy (1865-1871) the Gardens remained almost unmodified; in the 20th Century Boboli was frequently used as an open air theater: here were held the concert directed by Pietro Mascagni in 1906, and, since 1933, the operas of the Maggio musicale fiorentino; among them the Euridice by Jacopo Peri, under direction of Franco Zeffirelli (1960).
After extensive mantainance works in 1980 the frescoes in the grotto of Buontalenti have been restored to they original beauty.

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 In the spotlight


In Boboli the nature is an artwork itself; among the various monuments built in the Gardens, we can mention the following ones:
The Amphitheater, which has has been recently restored;
The Grotto of Buontalenti, located near the exit to Piazza Pitti and built in 1583-88. It includes three artificial grottos with sculptures portraiting subjects of the Greek mythology and made by Baccio Bandinelli (Ceres and Apollo), Giambologna (Venus) and Vincenzo Rossi (Paris and Helena), but also copies of the Prisoners by Michelangelo. The third grotto contains Frescoes by Bernardino Poccetti;
The Place of the Isolotto. From the Amphitheater starts the Viottolone («broad lane»); flanked by cypresses, it leads to the Piazzale dell'Isolotto: this place was built in 1618 from Giulio and Alfonso Parigi and takes his name from the small island («isolotto») in the pound characterizing the place. The pound itself is embellished with lemon trees and flowers, and with the statues of Perseus and Andromeda (school of Buontalenti). In the middle, a copy of the Ocean Fountain by Giambologna.

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