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Pitti Palace and Boboli Gardens

Home > Florence > Museums | Gardens | Art
by David Francis (subscribe)
David Francis is a freelance writer based in Adelaide.
Published October 24th 2013
See what Florence has to offer all in one great location
Ah, the Renaissance those were the days, when Luca Pitti in Firenze (Florence) could build himself a home fit for royalty.

Pitti Palace, Florence - image by David Francis
Remember to look up. Part of the ceiling in one of the museums.

Starting in the 1450s, the banker had Palazzo Pitti (Pitti Palace) built as his residence, just down the road from the now famous tourist attraction Ponte Vecchio. It was so grand, the ruling Medici family purchased it in 1549 and used it as their residence for many generations.

Pitti Palace and Boboli Gardens, Florence - image by David Francis
A fairly decent backyard

Shortly after the First World War the Pitti Palace and its magnificent backyard, the Boboli Gardens, were opened to the public by the King of Italy and it was transformed into several museums.

Pitti Palace and Boboli Gardens, Florence - image by David Francis
A courtyard inside the front entrance

You need at least a day to try and take in what's behind the (relatively) unassuming front walls.

Pitti Palace and Boboli Gardens, Florence - image by David Francis
The Orange Grove in the Boboli Gardens

There are museums of theatrical costumes from the 16th to 20th centuries, art galleries, the Royal Apartments where the Medici family and later the Italian Royal Family lived, and galleries dedicated to silver and gems or porcelain.

Pitti Palace and Boboli Gardens, Florence - image by David Francis
Boboli Gardens is a vast area, with many pathways to explore

Tickets can be purchased to enter all or some of these areas, as well as the gardens. A ticket to the gardens also gets you access into some of the museums, but not Palatine or Modern Art. A single ticket can be purchased to access these two galleries.

The two main art galleries are the Palatine Gallery, housing Renaissance art including works by Titian and Raphael, and the Gallery of Modern Art. Don't be fooled by the latter it was established in 1748 with that name and doesn't contain any paintings created this side of World War One.

Don't miss out on going into the Boboli Gardens. It is full of statues and fountains, with paths heading off all over the place.

It is quite deceptive in scale, and at first appears to be contained to an area directly behind the palace. If you follow this route, you will end up at a small gallery at the rear of the estate, up some steps, situated in a rose garden overlooking the Tuscan hills.

As you return, the views in the other direction over the city of Florence are stunning.

But that's not all.

Explore. You will find paths that seem to lead away forever. Start following some of these, and you will eventually find all sorts of groves, buildings (including a replica of a Pompeii household), parks, fountains, statues, grottoes, and, of course, an amazing variety of plants and trees.

Pitti Palace and Boboli Gardens, Florence - image by David Francis
A grotto tucked away in a corner of the estate

You can just see parts of Palazzo Pitti if you wish but, whichever part you choose, you will be amazed.
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Why? An amazing collection of art, treasure, jewelery and clothing in a palace set in magnificent grounds
When: Tuesday to Sunday open 08:15 every day except Christmas Day, New Year's Day and May 1st. Museums close 18:50, gardens vary on time of year.
Where: Piazza dei Pitti, 1 50125 Florence, Tuscany, Italy
Cost: Palatine and Modern Art galleries EUR8.50 for both. Boboli EUR7.00 includes some other museums.
Your Comment
Lovely article. Just shows you two people can go and see completely different things. I never saw the grotto or orange grove so liked your pics. The gardens were far too much walking for me. The collection of antique carved ivory is superb.
by Kat May (score: 3|1436) 3008 days ago
My Italian language teacher is going to Italia very soon. From Trieste, she is returning 'home' for a holiday with her husband. I will forward this article to her. Firenze may be on her travel agenda. Wish I were going with them. Great article and beautiful photographs.
by Gloria (score: 2|555) 1511 days ago
Wonderful memories of Boboli Gardens,thank you.Florence is such a beautiful city,so much to enjoy.
by Olive (score: 0|2) 2370 days ago
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