One of the most beautiful parks in Italy, the Boboli Gardens, is on the side of tall hill behind the Palazzo Pitti. It is one of the mandatory places to visit in Florence.
As is known, in 15 century the Old Town of Florence, all palaces and cathedrals, was located on the right bank of the Arno and only Luca Pitti bought a parcel of land for his palace, the Palazzo Pitti, at the foot of the Boboli hill on the left bank of the river, several hundreds of meters from the Ponte Vecchio. In 1449 the palace was bought by the Medici, and Eleanor of Toledo, before to move to the palace the official residence of the dukes of Tuscany, commissioned an expansive garden, which was called after the name of the hill - the Boboli Gardens.
The entrance to the Boboli Gardens is in the center of the Palazzo Pitti (you should buy a ticket at the ticket office of the palace). The Boboli Gardens was designed by the well-known architects of Florence such as Niccolò dei Pericoli, Bartolomeo Ammannati and Giorgio Vasari.
Behind the palace a steep alley is started leading from the inner court of the palace up to the Fountain of Neptune located on the third terrace of the hill. Near the palace you can see an Egyptian obelisk brought from Luxor. It is similar to the obelisk placed on the Place de la Concorde in Paris, but of smaller size. The obelisk itself dates back to the time of Ramses II (13 century B.C.).
Fountain of Neptune was made by the sculptor Stoldo Lorenzi in 1565. Here the main alley fans to all parts of the park. The Boboli Gardens reach the area of 4.5 hectares. If you turn right, you will get to the observation point. From there the Cypress Alley goes down to the pond with the Fountain Island in its center. However, if you have little time, you`d better not go as far as that and turn to the Porcelain Museum. It is located on the stone terrace at the edge of the hill. The museum is included in the price of the tour of the Boboli Garden.
After the Porcelain Museum you should go towards the Tea House along the strong stone wall of a medieval fortress built for defense of Florence. But unfortunately, you can’t ascend the balcony of the Tea House, although from it you could have a magnificent view on all historic center of Florence. However, from the small square in front of the Tea House you may have at least as good views on the Palazzo Vecchio and Santa Maria della Fiore Cathedral.
Returning to the Palazzo Pitti from the Tea House, you should stop at the Grotto of Buontalenti, named after its creator. There you can see the statues of antique gods under the stalactites.