on August 26, 2007
The Boboli Gardens is housed within Palazzo Pitti and are one of the most unique gardens in Italy. It was said to be originally designed for the great Medici family. The gardens span a great distance and it would be impossible to visit every nook and cranny. Palazzo Pitti/Boboli Gardens is a short 10-15 minutes walk from the train station and/or Ponte Vecchio. There are no buses that pass the Palace but Bus No. 8, 11, 36, and 37 can drop a visitor off nearby. Check with the bus schedules and map to ensure the drop-off points are close enough for you to proceed from there. Opening hours of the Boboli Gardens vary according to season. For the high season, it is typically open daily from 8:15am to 6:30pm. It is closed on the last Monday of every month as well as holidays. General admission to Palazzo Pitti includes Boboli Gardens, the Porcelain Gallery, Costume Gallery and Bardini Gardens. Admission is €6 with reduced rates (50%) for EU citizens. Tickets can be reserved over the phone with Firenze Musei (+39 055294883) which incurs a small reservation fee per ticket (€3). However, it is not necessary because lines are smaller than that at Uffizi/Accademia as well as fast-moving. Admission is free during Culture Week (in which we took advantage of) so I always advise budget travellers to schedule their Italy trips during then. Boboli Gardens is not for the elderly or weak of heart. There are many slopes and stairs - often steep and laborious. Flower fans will be disappointed to see that the Gardens consist mostly of lush greeneries and hedges that make up a maze within the Gardens. Nevertheless, it is worth coming to the Gardens to admire the beautiful Renaissance statues and fountains. At the very top of the Gardens, you'll walk upon steep slopes to reach the highest point of Palazza Pitti and enjoy a beautiful view of the palace below you as well as a view of Florence! There are also a few grottos in the Gardens and while they don't match the awe-inspiring grottos of Villa Gregoriana in Tivoli - they are certainly photogenic and something unique to look at. While I was disappointed to find that there were hardly any flowers at Boboli Gardens (You would think that any place with the word "Gardens" in it would not be short of flowers!), I did enjoy my time by having a relaxing stroll around the place. I didn't feel up to visiting the residential museums so cannot offer any insight into them. It was certainly a nice change from the overload of museums I'd been experiencing and I would recommend this to anyone with plenty of strength to tackle the awful sloping paths!
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