Seeking Nature in Florence: A Guide to The Boboli Gardens

Mar 4, 2019 12:05:00 PM / by Daniel Arnabar

In this week's post, Daniel finds a quick escape from the city life in Florence and takes us to the Boboli Gardens. He shares six interesting facts about this historic park and pairs them up with gorgeous visuals of the area. Want to know how to get in for free and where the eye-catching views are? Let Daniel give you the scoop!  

In a city humming with life, the hustle and bustle can become a bit overwhelming. From time to time you might find yourself craving some nature. Lucky for you, not far from the center of Florence you can find the Boboli Gardens. This green oasis provides a refreshing escape from the narrow streets and loud scooters to both locals and tourists.

Path at The Boboli GardensLet yourself get lost as you wander through Florence’s ‘green heart’.

You can find a lot of information about Boboli online but I wanted to share with you a couple cool things I learned after digging deeper about the area that will hopefully help you appreciate the gardens a little bit more.

1. Some History

The gardens were built by the Medici on a plot bought from the Boboli family. They began the classic Renaissance-style construction in the 16th century. The project continued all the way through the 18th century, as additional sculptures and fountains were added in various locations. Its design served as inspiration for various famous European gardens, most notably, Versailles.

Statues at The Boboli GardensThe statues in the Boboli Gardens were added between the 16th and 18th centuries.

In addition to a myriad of sculptures scattered around the gardens, there are also century old oak trees that add to the historical wonder of the park. In order to water these trees and other vegetation, a complex irrigation system had to be erected, as the area does not have access to natural streams.

2. Getting In

On my visit to the gardens we entered through Porta Romana, just a few blocks from the Pitti Palace. We went on a Sunday and admission was free, so keep that in mind if you want to save €10.

View from The Boboli GardensThe view of Florence from Boboli Hill.

3. Viottolone

This avenue, also known as Cyprus Lane runs from Porta Romana all the way up to Boboli Hill. It is flanked by tall trees that makes for a mysterious and hypnotizing sight. Walking up this path you’ll find many statues and eventually come across a beautiful water feature known as the Isolotto complex.

CyprusThough this hill seems intimidating, you will not regret it.

4. Isolotto Complex

In the center of this space is the Fountain of the Ocean. Around the central sculpture of Neptune sits three other depictions the Nile, Ganges and the Euphrates.

Fountain of the OceanAlthough it was very overcast and really lacking in vegetation, this fountain was incredibly mesmerizing.

5. The Amphitheater

The amphitheater can be found right behind the Pitti Palace. This is where the stones were excavated from to build the palace itself. During the Medici’s time, it served as a space to hold operas and concerts. It’s horseshoe shape provides a great area to stroll and get a great view of the building’s architecture. Here you will also find an obelisk as well as the Artichoke Fountain as you get closer to the palace.

6. The Kaffeehaus

This building was added in the 1770’s and served as a spot to stop for some tea or coffee during leisurely strolls in the gardens. In its pastel green, it served as a status symbol and remains an eye catching feature in Boboli.

Observatory - The KaffeehausThe Kaffeehaus.

A Worthy Addition to your Florence Plans

From incredible paths to countless sculptures, Boboli will surely pay you back in dividends for the work you put into climbing its hills. It’s easy to spend hours wandering around the gardens and discovering new routes to take. So take your time and be sure to bring some water.

Thanks, Daniel!

Daniel Arnabar

 

Daniel Arnabar is an official CAPA blogger for spring 2019, sharing his story in weekly posts on CAPA World. A Marketing major at University of Pittsburgh, he is studying abroad in Florence this semester.

Daniel's journey continues all semester so stay tuned.

Learn More about the CAPA Florence Program

Topics: Florence, Italy, Local Culture