The Boboli Gardens in Florence (Giardino di Boboli) is a park behind the Pitti Palace that was created by the Medici in the 16th century. It formed an inspiration for the gardens of many other European courts and can be considered an open-air museum with numerous statues, fountains, water features and grottos.
The park is built on different levels and houses an amphitheatre, an Egyptian obelisk, and an 18th century Kaffeehaus. On one of the highest points there is the Palazzina del Cavaliere, now home to the Porcelain Museum.
The most famous of the grottos is the Large Grotto (Grotta Grande di Boboli), also called the Buontalenti Grotto after its architect Bernardo Buontalenti. After almost ten years of work, the grotto was completed in 1593, meaning that the Grand Duke of Tuscany Francesco I de’ Medici, for whom the grotto was intended but who died in 1587, never got to see it finished.
The grotto is richly decorated, both on the outside and the inside, and has a further three rooms in the back, one of which with Giambologna’s famous Bathing Venus.