The Boboli Gardens are across the river Arno, in the Oltrarno area of Florence, part of the whole Palazzo Pitti complex. They were built by the Medicis in the 16th century and are home to lots of lovely pieces of scultpure. They cost a whopping €10 to get into! I suppose they’re worth the entry fee, there’s not a lot of parks or green spaces to be found in Florence. Anyway, photos…..
The Palazzo Pitti. Blimey, that’s a big place. Apparently it’s filled to the brim with art.
Behind the palace. My friend and I found the entrance to the gardens and gave the guard the ticket to get in. I couldn’t help but exclaim, “Aw, what? More stairs?!?” when I saw the climb to the gardens. The security guard laughed at me and proceeded to flirt with my friend in Italian while I tried not to cry.
Those Medicis knew how to buy a palace. That view!
The beautiful, impressive gardens. But please don’t walk on the grass.
Frankly, I don’t know how we modern gardeners cope without an obelisk in every garden.
Don’t be fooled. That’s a steep climb to the top of the gardens. I was glad of a shady spot to sit in and a bottle of water when I reached the summit.
At the (nearly) top of the amphitheatre gardens, is a statue of Neptune in a pond. The lawns are not so manicured up in this area. You could sit under a tree and have a picnic up here if you wished.
This lady reigns supreme over everything. I’ve not been able to discover who she is but going by the sheaves of wheat and fruit she’s carrying, I wonder if she isn’t Ceres, Roman goddess of harvest.
The Boboli Gardens are vast. Outside of the amphitheatre, you can climb higher up the hill to a rose garden where you can see some stunning views of Tuscany.
Is that an olive grove?
The fountain in the rose garden. Amazingly, I haven’t take any real photos of the rose garden. But, it did remind me to visit the rose garden in Rapperswil, here near us.
It’s not all renaissance sculpture in Florence. You come across a more modern piece occasionally. I have no idea whose work this is. *ashamed*
Updated Later: I thought, when I saw this, that it looked familiar. It’s a piece by Igor Mitoraj, a sculptor whose art I have seen in Rome before. See here.
This was the last thing we looked at before leaving the gardens, the Grotta del Buontalenti, intricately carved entrance to a cave containing even more sculpture. The grotto is usually locked so I admired it from afar.
My guide book tells me that the Boboli Gardens are visited annually by about 5 million tourists and often a queue snakes around the building for entry. My friend and I were lucky that we didn’t have to wait for either a ticket or entry. I still think €10 is a bit steep for entry to gardens only but I’m glad I visited. If only to have witnessed a scene in front of a big black Mercedes. A uniformed chauffeur stood discreetly back from the vehicle as a well-dressed silver fox pleaded through an open door to a woman inside. “Please, Marianne,” he pleaded.
“No!” Marianne snapped back at him.
“Marianne, please, just come for a look!”
“I said, no!”
The silver fox sighed and gave up after a while. He slammed the door, gave the chauffeur an apologetic look and they both got back in the car and drove off. I had a giggle as I stood boldy, watching it all. I should have applauded as they drove off, it was a great show. Oh, aren’t I awful?