For the first time in history, the Ananassi Botanical Garden in the Boboli Gardens is open to the public, part of an extensive renovation and reorganization project planned for the Medici site. Covering an hectare, the Ananassi is home to hundreds of aquatic, tropical and sub-tropical plant species and is the only example of a Romantic-style garden in Boboli. The garden is open Monday to Friday, from 9am to 1pm.
Botanical Garden at the Boboli Gardens
“With the reopening of the splendid Ananassi Garden and its exotic treasures,” said director of the Uffizi Galleries Eike Schmidt, “we will offer all visitors another wonderful piece of Florence. A renovation of this kind has not been seen in more than 80 years.”
On a larger scale, the Boboli will also get a massive makeover that includes 46 new pietra serena benches (soon to be expanded to 60), restorations of some of the statues in the garden, the aquatic plant basin and the “secret” passage behind it, the renovation of the orchid greenhouse and the refurbishment of the Viottolone dei Cipressi and Viale dei Platani, for which 53 cypresses and 25 sycamore trees will be planted and an in-depth monitoring of the centuries-old trees will be conducted, felling those that do not meet safety requisites.
Fontana di Ganimede and Kaffeehaus
The never-before-opened “secret” camellia garden is also part of the renovation project, a 300-square-metre space planted in the early 17th century as the exclusive domain of Grand Duke Ferdinand II’s younger brother Mattias. Currently in a state of abandon, its bastions are structurally unsound, and they must be restored (expected to take place in 2020-21) before the space can be opened to the public.
Lastly, plans are underway to open the “Gelateria Buontalenti” in the upper area of the garden, named after the Renaissance architect who designed the Grotta Grande in the Boboli Gardens and inventor of “sweetened ice,” the precursor to gelato.