Palazzo Pitti, Florence
We were supposed to visit Boboli Gardens, just behind the Pitti Palace, back in 2015 but sadly before our visit to Florence large-scale flooding had ruled the gardens out of bounds to the general public. Fortunately we arrived this time in blistering sunshine and the gardens were open again.
To get your tickets for the gardens head to the right hand side of the Pitti Palace and you should come to the box office. Outside there is a board detailing the prices of the various parts of the palace you can visit. If you want to visit the Palace on a full adult ticket that will set you back €13 (£11.97) and for the gardens €10 (£9.21) so a combined ticket for the two rolls in at €23 (£21.18) per person.
We decided on the gardens as originally planned and bought our ticket from the window. The staff there do speak English so no worries there. It wasn’t until we had turned away from the window clutching our tickets that we realised we had forgotten to ask where the entrance to the gardens was. Oops.
If you find yourself in the same predicament (not that you will after reading this) then just head to the central entrance of the palace, slap bang in the middle, big big door, can’t miss it. There the chilled out security will take your ticket stubs and the gardens are signposted inside the building. On our visit there was a courtyard getting geared up to host a film viewing of some sort with chairs and a big screen all laid out.
Walking out of the back of the palace we entered the beautiful garden area. A quiet oasis of calm with just the sounds of fountains, birds and the odd German tourist – how they love a walk. There’s also a gift shop at which you can buy water or snacks and just to the left of that you can take in a huge panoramic of the palace and catch a glimpse of the Duomo in all its glory.
We noticed some people take advantage of a guided tour, although we didn’t see any of these advertised at the ticket booth. The tour was being given in English and noted that in the very centre of the garden are ruins of an old amphitheatre used for live shows within the palace grounds in years gone by.
Walking up the steep banks of the gardens ascending to greater heights gives you an increased perspective on just how large the grounds and palace are. It’s a beautiful view ever multiplying the more steps you climb. Once at the top of the garden you are treated to a sublime view over the palace grounds and the city behind it. Make sure you bring your camera!
We took a walk down the pathways of the gardens going away from the palace as little wall lizards crossed our path, perfectly harmless of course. We entered a clearing and caught a staggering view of the Florence skyline. Many people come here just to sit and admire. We were no different.
Just down from the vantage point sits a small orchard with pear and apple tree’s. Also orange tree’s a little further down. As you wander the pathways there are statues dating back to the 16th through to 18th centuries with the sun’s glow bringing them to life. As you make your way back up the hill the fountain of neptune surrounded by ducks luxuriating in the water is a sight well worth seeing.
We spent nearly two hours here enjoying the gardens and taking in the art work. Not to mention the stunning views which I wasn’t expecting if I’m being honest. On the whole I would highly recommend Boboli Gardens. A peaceful break from the hectic centre in the height of tourist season and it’s also not every day you get to visit a palace.