The Boboli Gardens are one of the most beautiful things to see in Florence, Italy - and that is saying something!
The gardens were built in the 16th Century by the Medici grand dukes. Since garden creation was a competitive sport at this time, with the victory for extravagent garden design often factoring in the next papal conclave, gardens were serious business.
The Boboli Gardens have the usual grottos, nymph statues and grand promenades, but on a much grander scale than almost anywhere else. The garden designers and sculptures make the gardens a 111 acre living museum.
This view is of the Viottolone running down the hill to the Isolotto pond. Giambologna created the extravagant fountain at the bottom of the hill.
On my trip to Florence, I didn't have any intention of going to a garden, as much as I love them. I was there to see museums! I had been told by my Italian hosts the Boboli Gardens were the most important thing to see in Florence, the essence of Florence. After a day spent at wonderful museums, I needed a little time outside, so I decided to visit. After all, everything else my hosts had told me had been exactly the right place to go!
The Boboli Gardens are my most precious memory of Florence. The view of the Duomo, the long avenues and the beautiful sculptures. The elegance, the extravagance and the love of tamed nature and art is so much the essence of Florence. I can close my eyes and walk down this avenue today, seeing the cypresses framing the path. The Boboli Gardens are truely, extravagantly Florence.