The Boboli Gardens

Il Tribolo

the consumate garden alla italiana

(leading to Buontalenti’s Grotto)

 

The Pitti Palace
The Pitti Palace

The main entrance of the Pitti Palace leads to the Ammannati Courtyard, contained on three sides by the facades of the Palace

100_4006 Boboli Gardens - Ammannati courtyard

On the fourth side, a single storey topped by Francesco Susini’s Artichoke Fountain (Fontana del Carciofo), under the watchful gaze of Hercules, lies the entrance to the garden. The centre arch leads into the 17th C Grotto of Moses.

Ammannati Courtyard
Ammannati Courtyard
Ammannati Courtyard - Hercules
Boboli Gardens Bouncer
The Grotto of Moses - Ammannati Courtyard
The Grotto of Moses – Ammannati Courtyard
Grotto of Moses
Interior of the Grotto of Moses

Grotto of Moses

100_4003 Boboli Gardens - Hercules - Ammannati courtyard

 

The Fountain of the Artichoke, looking back from the gardens, toward the palace, and over the Ammannati Courtyard

Fountain of the Artichoke
Fountain of the Artichoke

At the end of the entrance ramp, looking away from the fountain, one is greeted with the sight of the magnificent amphitheatre

 

Amphitheatre
Amphitheatre with Roman basin and Egyptian Obelisk

100_4094 Boboli Gardens - Egyptian Obelisk

100_4095 Boboli Gardens - Egyptian Obelisk

100_4021 Boboli Gardens - Pitti Palace - rear

100_4085 Boboli Gardens

 

100_4086 Boboli Gardens

Amphitheatre statuettes
Amphitheatre statuettes

100_4089 Boboli Gardens

100_4090 Boboli Gardens

100_4093 Boboli Gardens

Fountain of Neptune - Forcone Basin
Fountain of Neptune with naiads and tritons, bronze and white marble – Stoldo Lorenzi, 1565-68

Climbing the path from the amphitheatre we reach the Forcone Basin (Vasca del Forcone) where Neptune brandishes his trident over a cliff beneath which crouch four marin demi-gods

100_4055 Boboli Gardens - Fountain of Neptune

Marin demi-gods

100_4079 Boboli Gardens

Tacca's Abundance
Tacca’s Abundance

Reaching the heights of the path above the palace we find Plenty (Abbondanza), begun by Giambologna in 1608 and completed by Pietro Tacca and Sebastiano Salvini (1636-37). She represents the prosperity of the Tuscan State

Plenty's golden ears of wheat
Plenty’s golden ears of wheat and cornucopia
Plenty's view across the palace
Plenty’s view across the palace
Roman copy of original Greek statue of a Muse, white marble, 2nd C
Roman copy of original Greek statue of a Muse, white marble, 2nd C

100_4025 Boboli Gardens

100_4026 Boboli Gardens

100_4027 Boboli Gardens

100_4029 Boboli Gardens - Florence view

100_4030 Boboli Gardens

100_4031 Boboli Gardens

Zanobi del Rosso, the Kaffeehaus, 1774-1775
The Kaffeehaus, Zanobi del Rosso, 1774-1775

100_4040 Boboli Gardens - Kaffeehaus

100_4041 Boboli Gardens - Kaffeehaus

From the Forcone Basin,  an alternative path leads us into Cypress Lane (Il Viottolone), the other axis of the expanded gardens. Ordered by Cosimo II, construction of this axis was undertaken by Giulio Parigi. The planting of the cypresses began in 1612. The lane is watched over by an array of fine statuary.

Aesculapius and Hyppolytus, Giovan Battista Caccini, ca 1608
Aesculapius and Hyppolytus, Giovan Battista Caccini, ca 1608
Autumn and Summer, Pietro Francavilla, white marble, late 16th C.
Autumn and Summer, Pietro Francavilla, white marble, late 16th C.
Autumn and Summer, Pietro Francavilla, white marble, late 16th C.
Autumn and Summer, Pietro Francavilla, white marble, late 16th C.
Hygieia, Giovan Battista Caccini, 1608
Hygieia, Giovan Battista Caccini, 1608

100_4238 Boboli Gardens

100_4239 Boboli Gardens

100_4240 Boboli Gardens

100_4241 Boboli Gardens
Island Pond (Vasca dell’Isola) with Harpies and Ocean Fountains
Island Pond, Harpies
Island Pond, Harpies
Island Pond
Island Pond

100_4255 Boboli Gardens

100_4252 Boboli Gardens

100_4254 Boboli Gardens

Jupiter, Giambologna, white marble on sandstone base, ca 1560
Jupiter, Giambologna, white marble on sandstone base, ca 1560

 

Fountain of the Mostaccini, pietra forte, Romolo Ferrucci del Tadda, 1619-21
Fountain of the Mostaccini, pietra forte, Romolo Ferrucci del Tadda, 1619-21

The Fountain of the Mostaccini is formed by a long channel of water cascading through sixteen  monstrous masks, called Mostaccini, named perhaps in reference to their moustaches. These were intended as drinking troughs for birds and are all that remain of the Ragnaia della Pace, designed for the hunting of birds with nets.

the Meridian Hill showing a Roman art basin and Pegasus by unknown late 16th C artist
the Meridian Hill showing a Roman art basin and Pegasus by an unknown late 16th C artist

It’s difficult to imagine that the enjoyment of these lovely gardens and their manifold treasures could be enhanced (unless, of course, you were an unfortunate bird in a time long gone), but if, on returning to the rear of the palace courtyard, we venture beyond the entry ramp and along another path, a special path, you will surely marvel at a different kind of magic as we encounter Buontalenti’s Grotto

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