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Boboli Gardens

In the heart of Florence is this charming green gem, an illustrious Renaissance garden teeming with sculptures.

TravelCurious Tip

The gardens are expansive and quite steep in places, so be sure to bring appropriate footwear if you want to really explore them

The Boboli Gardens are found in the heart of Florence, behind the Palazzo Pitti, which was formerly the home of the Medici family and is now one of the city’s foremost museums. When first built the gardens were a lavish present from the Medici family, for the Medici family: no one else was allowed in, and no events were ever held there.


The gardens were carefully designed in the 16th century style, imbued with classical elements. Wide gravel avenues lead to statues and fountains nestled in ornate stonework, with spaces inspired by grottos, garden temples and amphitheatres. To walk around them is to take a journey through classical mythology.


Eyes on the Prize

The fountain of Neptune can be found in the hillside above the amphitheatre. Set in a large basin, the central bronze statue of Neptune was created by Stoldo Lorenzi. It depicts a moment from the competition between Athena and Neptune to be the patron of Athens. Neptune struck the ground with his trident, producing a salt spring; Athena, with a touch of her spear, summoned an olive tree from the soil. No prizes for guessing who won.


Far From Grotty

Stone stalactites mark the entrance to the Large Grotto. Don’t be put off by its rather unattractive name: it is exquisite. Inside, the grotto contains three frescoed sections: the first contains replicas of Michaelangelo’s Prisoners, the second holds Paris and Helen by Vincenzo de’ Rossi, and the third contains Giambologna’s Bathing Venus. The latter two were allegedly designed as perfect spots for Duke Francesco I de’ Medici’s amorous trysts.

Nearby Attractions

See all attractions in Florence
Palazzo Vecchio
The city’s magnificent town hall was first built in 1299, and has seen many different names and uses over its history.
Loggia dei Lanzi
Beloved since the 14th century for its superb arches, the Loggia is today an open-air museum of Renaissance sculpture.
Ponte Vecchio
The 'Old Bridge' over the river Arno is famous for its traditional jewellery shops and art dealers.
Uffizi Gallery
A magnificent 16th century building housing one of the world's foremost collections of Primitive and Renaissance art.
Palazzo Pitti
A vast 15th century palace commissioned by the ambitious Florentine banker Luca Pitti, housing an important collection of Renaissance paintings.
Santo Spirito
This basilica boasts some of the best in Renaissance interior design, courtesy of Brunelleschi.

Related Tours

The Medici Dynasty Private Tour inc Tickets: Profit, Power, and Politics
Immerse yourself in the power and politics of the Medici Dynasty on this fascinating 3-hour tour.

  • Commence your tour of Palazzo Medici, the family's first lordly residence
  • Discover the hidden gems of the palace - Palazzo Pitti and the picturesque Boboli Gardens 
  • Stand in awe of a wide collection of Renaissance paintings and sculpture 
  • Uncover the history and secrets of the Medici family 
The 15th century was Florence's golden age, a period of unprecedented artistic and intellectual achievements. Indeed, it is the city that gave birth to the Renaissance, and home to the Medici family. 

The House of Medici was an Italian bourgeois family that ruled Florence and, later, Tuscany, from 1434 to 1737 (except for two brief intervals). Wherever you look in Florence, you will meet the Medici – not just their busts and coat of arms but the magnificent churches, palaces and works of art they commissioned. Discover how the history of the Medici is riddled with dramatic rises and ruinous falls- filled with secrets and scandals. 

This tour will focus on the amazing history of their rise to power and the palazzo intrigues, and will let you know more about their private life by visiting the hidden gems of their main Palace, Palazzo Pitti, and the gorgeous Boboli Gardens. Palazzo Pitti, which has also been the residence of the King of Italy for a brief period in the late 18th century, houses important collections of paintings and sculpture, porcelains and a costumes, besides providing a magnificently decorated historical setting which extends to the Boboli Gardens, one of the earliest Italian gardens famous also for its fountains and grottoes. This green heart of Florence can be considered an open air museum, rich in history and art, stories, secret corners and fascinating routes.
Private Tour of Palazzo Pitti and Boboli Gardens
To stroll Palazzo Pitti today is to embark on a fascinating journey through the grandiose eras of grand dukes, monarchs and Florence’s storied past. On the Private Guided Tour of Palazzo Pitti, you will: 

  • Browse the artistic highlights in collections of ceramics, paintings costumes and jewelry. 
  • Learn the building’s fascinating history in a grandiose era of grand dukes and monarchs.
  • Benefit from an expert guide’s compelling commentary and swerve queues and crowds.
  • Discover masterpieces by Titian, Raphael and Rubens 
  • Learn about Anna Maria Luisa de’ Medici (1667-1743), patron of the arts. 
  • Marvel at the palace’s lavish 17th century gilded interior - itself a magnum opus
  • Stroll formal parklands in the historic Boboli Gardens, open to the public since 1766
Set on the River Arno’s south banks, this vast Renaissance palace makes a grandiose architectural statement of epic proportions. Commissioned by Florentine banker Luca Pitti who aspired to live in a building so large it would dwarf all his enemies, the 1446-built Palazzo Pitti has hosted a trio of noble families over the centuries: the Medici, the Lorena and the Savoy. Pitti’s rivals, the Medici Family, bought the Palazzo Pitti in 1549 and became a symbol of the power of the Grand Duchy of Tuscany’s ruling families. Located at the foot at Boboli Hill, the building’s forbidding design features a series of repeated arch-headed apertures reminiscent of a Roman aqueduct. In 1919, the palace and its contents were donated by King Victor Emmanuel III to the Italian people - and the gallery’s gilded paintings and priceless artefacts represent one of the most magnificent collections in the world today.

On the Private Guided Tour of Palazzo Pitti, an expert guide will navigate queues and crowds to take you to most important collections within several world-class museums. Discover glorious works by Titian, Raphael and Rubens and learn the compelling backstories to the masterpieces that adorn the walls together with the history of Anna Maria Luisa de’ Medici (1667-1743), the Palazzo Pitti’s patron of the arts. Marvel at the 17th century lavish, gilded interior decor - itself a magnum opus - and enjoy the world-class artistry in the Palatine Gallery, the Silver Museum, the Museum of Modern Art, the Costume Gallery, the Porcelain Museum and the Museum of Carriages. The grand, formal parklands of the historic Boboli Gardens, open to the public since 1766, is a fine example of an early "Italian Garden", and provides a fitting finale to a resplendent tour rich in courtly grandeur.
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