Boboli Gardens: The Historical Garden of Florence
The Boboli Gardens in Florence, also known as the Giardino di Boboli, is one of the highlights of the Tuscan capital. It is a place full of history and art, but also an oasis of peace and inspiration. The breathtaking landscape architecture, artistic sculptures, grottoes and beautiful avenues makes a visit to one of the best things to do in Florence. Built in the 16th century at the order of the Medici family, today you can discover numerous interesting attractions, including the Grotta del Buontalenti and works of art by Giambologna and Bartolomeo Ammannati. A visit will take you on an exciting journey through time and show you one of the most beautiful sides of Florence. But what are the best tips about the Boboli Gardens in Florence, what can you expect during a garden tour, and what should you know before you go?
In this travel guide, you will find all the important information and tips about the Boboli Gardens in Florence. We show you beautiful pictures, the best attractions and activities, and tell you where to book great guided tours.
General Information about the Boboli Gardens
The Boboli Gardens, also known as the Giardino di Boboli, is a 45,000 square meter park behind the imposing Palazzo Pitti and is located around 300 meters from the Ponte Vecchio. It is known as one of the most outstanding gardens in the world and, together with the other Medici Gardens in Tuscany, it is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Each year, the gardens are visited by nearly 1 million tourists. Its history goes back more than 400 years, when it was laid out in the 16th century by Eleonora di Toledo, the wife of Grand Duke Cosimo I. Its planning and realization can be traced back to the visions of the architect Niccolò Pericoli, also known as Tribolo. Bartolomeo Ammanati and Giorgio Vasari also left their mark on the beautiful Renaissance architecture of the Boboli Gardens in Florence.
The Boboli Gardens were a symbol of the distance between the Medici court and the people of Florence. Glamorous parties were held here exclusively for the aristocracy. It was not until the year 1766 that the park was opened to the general public. Today, tourists can visit the Boboli Gardens for a fee, as it is run as an open-air museum. One is amazed by the characteristic garden design with long axes and wide gravel paths, and the opulent use of statues and fountains. The terraces of the park also offer a magnificent view of the city of Florence.
Things to do in the Boboli Gardens
There are many beautiful attractions in the Boboli Gardens, so you should plan some time for a visit. At the beginning of the tour is the amphitheater with Roman-inspired statues and an Egyptian obelisk brought from Luxor in 1789. On top of a hill is the Neptune Fountain, a masterpiece by Giambologna and a popular photo subject. The Viottolonem, a sloping avenue that leads to the Porta Romana, is also stunning.
At the end of the garden is the former Porcelain Museum, with a rose garden and the Coffeehouse, whose terrace offers breathtaking views of Florence. An insider’s tip is the Bacchino Fountain with the dwarf and jester Morgante riding a tortoise. One of the most famous attractions of the Boboli Gardens is the Grotta del Buontalenti, an artificial grotto with stalactites and stalagmites.
Tickets for the Boboli Gardens
It is advisable to book tickets for the Boboli Gardens in advance. Queues are often long, especially in high season. Buying in advance will cost you a few euros more, but you’ll have a fixed time slot and won’t have to wait in line. You can also book tickets without waiting at GetYourGuide.
If you would like to learn more, you can book an audio guide or, even better, a private tour. A visit to the adjacent Palazzo Pitti is usually included.
Where to Stay near Boboli Gardens
There are several excellent places to stay near the Boboli Gardens. Most of them are hotels, guesthouses or apartments, ideal for a city break. If you are looking for a wonderful accommodation near the Boboli Gardens, we can give you these recommendations… It’s worth a look!
- Charming Hotel: The Piazza Pitti Palace is located in the immediate vicinity of the Boboli Gardens and also boasts a wonderful historical ambience.
- Fabulous Boutique Hotel: The Casa Botticelli is in a class by itself. Guests love the Florentine charm, the great location and the delicious breakfast.
- Beautiful Apartment: The Genteel Home Piazza Pitti is a beautiful, well-appointed apartment. The tasteful and modern furnishings are also great!
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