Florence
Florence

Guide to the Boboli Gardens in Florence

Boboli Gardens: an open-air museum

Boboli Gardens is one of the most important examples of Italian Renaissance garden. Equipped with a large botanical and architectural heritage, the Boboli Gardens is considered as a real open air museum.

A garden full of history and able to enchant visitors thanks to sequences with perspective created by architects who have designed and realised it.

The park, proclaimed a Unesco World Heritage site in June 2013, covers an area of about 45,000 m².

pitti palace boboli gardens Belvedere
Giusto Utens – View of Pitti Palace and Boboli Gardens (1599)

Why is it called Boboli?

On the origin of the name of the Garden we have collected two hypotheses: according to the first name would be the contraction of the surname of the family Borgolo, which had possessions in this area; the second theory says that the name Boboli was to used to identify the area of via Romana, where is the garden, in the middle ages.

The history of the garden

The garden as we see now is the result of several intervention that have followed since it was created in the 16th century until the 19th century.

Boboli was born in the mid 16th century when takes the place of previous agricultural areas situated behind Palazzo Pitti and along via Romana up to the city gate. The initial project was commissioned by  Cosimo I de’ Medici to Niccolò Pericoli aka “il Tribolo. Later, many other great artists worked in the creation of the Park. Between them there were Vasari, Ammannati, Giambologna and Buontalenti.

Boboli Gardens Florence anfiteatro and belvedere fort
The amphitheater in Boboli Gardens (Photo by Sailko / CC BY)

The guide to the Boboli Gardens in Florence

How to get into the Boboli Gardens

The Park has many entrances, the main one is through the Pitti Palace. To get into the garden you must cross the inner courtyard (cortile dell’Ammannati) of Pitti Palace  which is located just behind the main entrance.

Map of Boboli Gardens Florence
Map of Boboli Gardens (click to open)

What to see in the Boboli Gardens

The first part of the park, dominated by the Belvedere Fort, is all around the amphitheatre and the fountain of Neptune. In the eastern part you can find the elegant Kaffeehaus, built between 1774 and 1775. After the Neptune, there are the Giardino del Cavaliere (knight’s garden) and the Casino del Cavaliere (knoght’s house) (where is the Museum of porcelain).

Boboli Gardens Florence Kafeehaus
Kafeehaus (Photo by Sailko / CC BY)

The second part of the garden is crossed by the Viottolone (Cyprus Road),  a wide tree-lined avenue that leads us through a descent towards the end of the Park. At the of the Viottolone we find the Vasca dell’Isola; a small artificial lake with an island in the middle, that can be reached through two passages. A little further on, in the area closest to Porta Romana, there is the Prato delle Colonne (pillars’ field).

Boboli Gardens Florence Viottolone
Viottolone (Photo by Dimitris Kamaras/ CC BY)

On the side closest to via Romana there are two interesting structures: la Limonaia (lemon house) and the Palazzina della Meridiana, (house of meridian) where is the Galleria del Costume (Museum of costume).

Boboli Gardens Florence Limonaia
Limonaia (Photo by Sailko / CC BY)

Informations

Where is the Boboli Gardens

The main entrance to the garden is in Piazza Pitti. In addition to the entrance from Palazzo Pitti, there are three other entrances: from Belvedere Fort, from Via Romana 37/a (Annalena entrance) and from Porta Romana.

How to get to Boboli Gardens

Boboli is not very easy to reach by car, because of traffic limitations and also beacause is very hard to park in that area. One of the nearest car parks is located near Porta Romana.
The bus lines (ATAF) that arrive in the area are the 11, and the D; both lines run from the central train station.

Regulation of the Boboli Gardens

In order to preserve the Park, was introduced a regulation for the visitors. For example it is forbidden to bring dogs and other animals, play with the ball or introduce bicycles.
If you have kids, bring them to visit the Boboli Gardens, though keep them always under control, remember that it’s not a garden like the others!

Opening hours

The garden is oper every day
November- February: 8.15 – 16.30
March: 8.15 – 17.30
April-May and September-October: 8.15 – 18.30
Jun-August: 8.15 – 19.30

Closing: first and last monday of every month, 1 january, 1 may, 25 december.

Tickets

The ticket also includes admission to the Museum of porcelain and the Bardini gardens.

Price: Regular 7 euro, reduced 3,50 euro
During temporary exhibitions, the price is 10 euro for the regular and 5 for reduced.

Free admission the first Sunday of every month.

Who lives in Florence enjoy free admission on entering from the entrances of via Romana and Porta Romana.

For more information, please consult the official site.

Where to eat near the Boboli Gardens

In the District of San Frediano there are lots of bars and restaurants to suit all tastes and budgets. Among these we mention the pizzeria Gustapizza, Trattoria I’Raddi and Il Santo Bevitore.


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