Tuesday, 15 May 2007

Giardino di Boboli

The Giardino di Boboli or Boboli Gardens are attached to the Palazzo Pitti across the Arno (Oltrarno) from central Florence. Normally entry to the gardens would set you back some Euros but, this being Cultural Week, we were allowed entry for free.

First some back-story. The Boboli Gardens are attached to Palazzo Pitti, built by rivals to the Medici family as some kind of some palatial one-upmanship. The Palazzo was eventually bought by Cosimo Medici I in 1550 when his wife, Eleonora da Toledo, decided the (now) Palazzo Vechio was too small and lacking in green space for her tastes. Of course this would have upset the Pitti family, especially since the Palazzo they could no longer live in retained their name as a constant reminder.

Near the exit (which we chose to visit first) is the Grotta del Buontalenti, which Linda accurately described as 17th century kitch, with faux mud flows forming the shapes of creatures inside the man-made grotto. I'm sure it was cutting-edge in its day.

We took the time to sit on the grass and have a picnic in Il Giardino del Cavaliere before proceding up to the rose gardens...

... took some more squinty photos ...

... and then onto the rest of the gardens.

I haven't gone into much detail here (you can click the links to find out more) because really the main point is that the Boboli Gardens are a lovely place to get out of the bustle of Florence and take in a bit of green surrounds. We were lucky to be able to visit them while they were free, but I'm sure we'll keep coming back.

No comments: