Il Boboli Gardens is the historical park of Florence that extends near the facade of Palazzo Pitti, of which it represents the Grand Ducal garden. Built at the behest of Cosimo I de 'Medici, he was embellished with statues and fountains while, by Cosimo II, it was further enlarged. Also connected to the military outpost of Forte di Belvedere, the garden is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and welcomes over 800.000 visitors every year.
- Hours and prices
- Online tickets and guided tours
- What to see and historical notes
- Where is it and how to get there
- How to visit the Boboli Gardens: useful tips and practical info
- User questions and comments
Hours and prices
- opening hours are always 8:15 am. On the other hand, the closing ones vary, divided as follows: 16:30 in the months of November, December, January, February; 17:30 in March and October with solar time; 18:30 in the months of April, May, September, October and March with daylight saving time; 19 pm in June, July, August. Last admission is always one hour before closing. The Garden is closed on the first and last Monday of the month + Christmas and New Year
- Best time to avoid queues: towards opening hours
- € 10,00 from March to October, € 6,00 from November to February
- Reductions: € 5,00 from March to October and € 3,00 from November to February. Italian citizens and citizens of the EU, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Iceland and Norway aged between 18 and 25 are entitled to the reduction.
- Free: First Sunday of the month for everyone. Minors 18 years with a valid identity document (minors under 12 must be accompanied by an adult). People with disabilities, tour guides and interpreters, students and teachers. Even in the case of free admission, you must still go to the ticket office and obtain the appropriate ticket.
Online tickets and guided tours
What to see and historical notes
The Boboli Gardens are one of the most important examples of an Italian garden of the sixteenth century, but one of the largest parks in the city of Florence. Partly surrounded by the attic defensive walls of Forte Belvedere, in their upper part, the Gardens are crossed by a main street, around which avenues, hedges, terraces enriched by statues and fountains and various buildings develop, which make it a real open-air museum. Let's see what are the different attractions, which will meet along the way.
1 - The Amphitheater
One of the first buildings you come across as you enter is the amphitheater, which originally contained the Fountain of the Ocean, placed there in the seventeenth century in order to allow theatrical performances. The structure is crossed by the main promenade axis, and represents the point where the garden was excavated, in order to obtain the strong stone used to build Palazzo Pitti. The structure was inaugurated in 1637, on the occasion of the coronation of Vittoria della Rovere, wife of Ferdinando II de 'Medici as Duchess, and had at the center the Fountain of the Ocean, later moved to the southwest, in order to make the amphitheater usable for theatrical performances. The same center, however, was embellished in 1790 with the installation of a Egyptian obelisk, the only one in all of Tuscany and one granite tub, added in 1840.
2 - The Neptune Basin
Going along a double ramp decorated with Roman statues you reach the basin of Neptune. Created in 1777-1778, this represents the point where all the waters that irrigate the garden converge. At the center of the garden stands the Fountain of Neptune, which portrays the God surrounded by naiads and tritons: the fountain was nicknamed by the Tuscans " Fork Fountain ", due to the trihedent challenged by Neptune. Around the fountain there are grassy terraces, which repeat the wing shape of the amphitheater below. Here, we have the statue of Abundance, initially intended for a celebratory column for Piazza San Marco, but never built. In this area, if you look closely, you can also admire the defensive walls, which come from the neighbor Forte Belvedere: in order to protect the harmony of the whole, these have been covered with numerous trees.
3 - The Knight's Garden
The Boboli Gardens are divided into different green areas, each with its own particular characteristic, separate and fenced. Chief among these is certainly the Garden of the Knight, which is located at the end of the main axis. This was built on part of the ramparts made by Michelangelo in 1529, and houses odorous and rare plants, box hedges and a picturesque fountain. To access it it is necessary to climb a staircase made of curved and crossed ramps that culminates on a small terrace, located above a circular room. The fountain in the center takes the name offountain of the Monkeys, having seen the three bronze monkeys at the base of the fountain, inside which water gushes from a marble putto. The main building in this area is the Casino del Cavaliere, the first place of recreation of the Grand Dukes of Tuscany and today the seat of the Porcelain Museum.
4 - The Kaffeehaus and the Viottolone
Going back, at the height of the statue of Abundance we have the coffeehouse: a Rococo-style pavilion, covered by a windowed dome, at the base of which there is a cave. The building, which is located in the most panoramic point of the garden, also allows you to admire the Viottolone, the second axis of the garden, which led to the Medici Villa of Poggio. In front of the Kaffeehaus is the lawn with the in the center Fountain of Ganymede while, the Viottolone, crosses the area called "Prato dell'Uccellare" characterized by centuries-old trees. The avenues that flank the Viottolone are the widest and richest in sculptures, among which the Olympic Jupiter, attributed to Giambologna or la Players series, statues representing people intent on playing the main games in vogue at the time of the grand duchy. Another important building is the Limonaia, which preserves plants from the Medici era, and the Meridiana building, where the Costume Gallery is now located. Among the different and curious sculptures that adorn the Boboli Gardens, we should mention: the statue of Jupiter seated by Baccio Bandinelli, some statues from the Forum of Trajan and others from the Roman era, the Bacchus and its homonymous fountain - the most popular statue of the dwarf at the court of Cosimo I located near Palazzo Pitti - and the Perseus and the Adromeda.
5 - The Garden and the Grotto of Madama
Remaining on this side of the garden, we meet the Grotticina della Madama, designed by Tribolo and decorated with sponges, stalactites and a marble basin surmounted by four statues of goats, from which water once gushed. The cave is located at one end of the Garden of Madama, with some geometric flower beds, built around 1570 for Giovanna of Austria
6 - The Buontalenti Grotto
This can be considered a real architectural masterpiece, and is perhaps the most precious building in the entire Park. Begun at the behest of Fracesco I de 'Medici, it is entirely decorated with stalactites, sponges and statues, respecting the alchemical style that the Grand Duke loved. The elements of nature seem to come to life and come out of the walls, as well as Michelangelo's famous Prisons, originally located here but then moved to the Accademia Gallery.
Where is it and how to get there
- On foot: The Boboli Gardens rises behind Palazzo Pitti, reachable in about 20 min. walk from the historic center of the city, following the signs for "Ponte Vecchio" and then cross it, and proceed on Via Guicciardini. Get directions
- By bus: lines 36, 36A, 37 and 11. The stop is Campuccio, and it is a 350 meters walk along Via Santa Maria and Via Romana, for a total of about 15 minutes.
- By car: the property is located in the center of Florence, and it is therefore impossible to reach them by car. We advise you to leave your car in a parking lot near the station, and to prefer public transport for getting around.
- By train: The Garden is 1,4 kilometers from the Florence Santa Maria Novella railway station, which can be reached on foot or by bus. In the case of the bus, the indications are those listed above while, if the luggage does not weigh and you decide to go on foot, know that it is worth it. The walk takes about 30 minutes, and will take you to cross some of the most characteristic places in Florence, including Ponte Vecchio.
How to visit the Boboli Gardens: useful tips and practical info
- Garden plant: the map of the garden is useful for orientation in the event of a non-guided tour and also contains indications of the various accesses and the rules to be respected during the visit.
- Minimum time for the visit: we recommend that you dedicate a whole day to visit the Garden. Within this there are many things to see and, if you have previously taken other excursions or are planning to do more on the same day, you may be too tired to fully appreciate the beauty.
- When to visit: Gardens are usually not a very crowded place. However, given the duration of the visit due to the size of the structure, the ideal would be to reach the entrance very early.
- Guided tour: if you are interested in visiting other museums or attractions in the city, you can buy private tours, as in the case of the Private Tour of Palazzo Pitti and Boboli Gardens
- Watch out for restrictions: a long series of restrictions and prohibitions are in force within the Gardens. It is advisable to view the complete rules.
- Choose the closest access: it is possible to enter from four different entrances, the main door of Palazzo Pitti (piazza de 'Pitti, Annalena (via Romana 37 / a), Piazzale di Porta Romana, Forte Belvedere. On the occasion of the free admissions scheduled for the first Sundays of the month the main entrance and the one from Annalena are closed.
- Themed tour: Some parts of Dan Brown's book "Inferno" and the film inspired by it are set right in the Boboli Gardens. It is possible to make themed tours. Find out more: Dan Brown's Florence: Inferno Walking Tour