The Boboli Gardens of Florence are a beautiful blend of Italian and French garden features with a wide variety of plants throughout. Renaissance gardens, an example of an Italian garden, are characterized by having shaded paths bordered by hedges, fountains, sculptures, and grottos. The most notable Italian garden features within Boboli Gardens are the Neptune Fountain, the Statue of Abundance, the shaded path known as Viottolone, and Buontalenti Grotto.
Neptune Fountain is located in the Basin of Neptune and offers the most scenic views of the Boboli Gardens. The fountain itself was created in 1565 by sculptor Stoldo Lorenzi but it wasn't until the 18th century when the basin was installed to collect irrigation water. The Statue of Abundance is a marble statue holding a bronze bouquet of wheat situated further up the hill from Neptune Fountain. Viottolone is a long path that leads through a series of terraces and water features. Rows of Italian cypress trees line the path, providing shade and greenery to visitors. The Buontalenti Grotto was commissioned by the Medici family in the 1500’s meant to provide a cool space to rest out of the sun. Decorative grottos are reconstructions of natural caves, often adorned with fountains, sculptures, and frescoes.
The main French garden feature within the Boboli Gardens is the orangery filled with countless varieties of citrus fruit trees including ancient trees belonging to the Medici family. The orangery also featured two small ponds that contain fish and water lilies. Water lilies are common in the ponds we have seen, not just in the Boboli Gardens, this is likely because they are native to temperate and tropical climates which includes the Mediterranean.
- Kait Richter