Florence, for the Boboli Gardens maxiplan of 50 million euros. Here are all the interventions

Up to 2030, 50 million euros will be invested in the Boboli Garden: a maxi-plan that includes numerous interventions, from the opening of the Kaffeehaus to the creation of an exhibition center, and then maintenance, restorations, a toy library, an ice cream parlor, and more.

The Boboli Garden in Florence is changing its face: in fact, Boboli 2030, a maxi-plan of more than 50 million euros aimed at a total renaissance of the Medici green space, has been launched. With its more than 33 hectares of history, art and nature, the Boboli Garden, at once a green lung and an open-air museum in the center of Tuscany’s capital city, represents one of the most shining examples of formal gardens in the world. Populated with statues and adorned with grottoes and imposing fountains, the park wanted in the 16th century by Duchess Eleonora di Toledo thus becomes the protagonist of a mighty program of interventions that will unfold over the next eight years. At the heart of Boboli 2030 is the enhancement of the Garden’s great architectural heritage, the restoration and restoration of sculptures and fountains, the improvement of its enjoyment by visitors, the creation of new services, the opening of new spaces, the optimization of water resources, and a new lighting and video surveillance system.

Many restoration works have just been completed (or are in the process of being completed) at Boboli (for which more than 2,400,000 euros were needed): the installation of new signage (180,000 euros); the restoration of the Monkey Fountain (35,000 euros) and the Kaffeehaus (700.000 euros); the renovation of the first part of the Principini Garden (195,000 euros), the introduction of an innovative video surveillance system at the Pagliere (100,000 euros), passing through the redevelopment and renovation of the entrance to the Piazza della Calza (110,000 euros) and the Camellia Garden (875,000 euros). It is precisely the restoration of the historic Kaffeehaus that is the latest intervention: this work included the restoration of the 18th-century frescoes and the construction of a new air conditioning and lighting system. The grand ducal cafeteria, after years of being closed to the public, will reopen in October, equipped with a counter, tables inside and outside, and toilets, and will feature a large garden and a panoramic terrace overlooking the breathtaking panorama of Florence. For the Garden of the Camellias, on the other hand, located between the south wing of the Pitti Palace and the Bastion of the Sundial, not only structural consolidation of the walls but also extensive restoration of the sculptures and wall paintings in the grotto was required; the restored the functionality of the fountains’ water features and drainage system, built a new irrigation system to maintain the 39 varieties of camellias and a lighting system to make evening openings possible. New signage for the Garden has also been completed, with 40 new poles, 173 arrows and 118 signs with maps and various directions designed to make clear the slopes and duration of the paths to help even the least able-bodied people.

Upcoming projects for the Garden, the expenditure of which amounts to more than 21,000,000 euros, include: the construction of an underground elevator that will connect the Ammannati Courtyard with the Mezzanine of the Muletta and the Boboli Amphitheater (3,000,000 euros), so as to make access less strenuous for the disabled; the architectural restoration and re-commissioning of the little palace at the Chestnut Meadow (1,450.000 euros); the renovation of the Neptune Pool (1,400,000 euros); the renovation of the Island Pool (2,650,000 euros); the restoration of the entire sculptural heritage of the Garden (3,500,000 euros), with the more than 300 statues from the Classical, Renaissance and Baroque periods and the replacement of the most weather-sensitive works with copies; and the implementation of a system of more than 300 explanatory captions (200,000 euros). Plus: a low-consumption lighting system, modern video surveillance, and a new acoustic system for announcements (2,400,000 euros); implementation of the Garden’s fire-fighting apparatus (250,000 euros); restoration of the Pagliere building (5.300,000 euros); restoration of the Palazzina di Annalena (1,650,000 euros); implementation of a bathroom for the disabled inside the Amphitheater (130,000 euros), completing the already completed rearrangement of the area’s toilets.

The intervention planned for the Muletta area will connect the Ammannati courtyard and the Amphitheater by means of an elevator, encircled by an octagonal staircase, whose glass termination evokes the destroyed chapel of Christina of Lorraine in shape, position and proportions. What’s more, the elevator will make accessible for the first time the Mezzanine of the Muletta with frescoes by Salvator Rosa, Pietro da Cortona, Jacopo Chiavistelli, and Andrea Ciseri and the Garden of Giovan Carlo de’ Medici. As for the Vasca del Nettuno and the Vasca dell’Isola, after a survey campaign and various diagnostic investigations (12 3D scans of the sculptures for the Vasca del Nettuno and 60 3D surveys of the sculptures for the Vasca dell’Isola), work is planned to clean the water, optimize water resources and restore the water features. Both fountains will also undergo architectural and sculptural restoration.

Also under the banner of sociality is the project for the Chestnut Meadow: it includes a 117-square-meter playroom, a 128-square-meter ice cream parlor-cafe and a large outdoor terrace with 40 seats under the shade of cypress trees. Again, a general architectural renovation will be carried out, there will be a new lighting system and an outdoor pathway will be built tending to ensure full accessibility to the spaces. New classrooms, laboratories, offices and study rooms will be built in the Annalena Building, intended for the Department of Education: 233 square meters, ready to accommodate more than 100 people. Also on the agenda is the restoration of the Pagliere, the building located in the heart of the garden of the Royal Stables. In fact, a new lighting and air-conditioning system will allow the activation, on the ground floor of the building, of a ticket office and bookshop, a bar area, and an 814-square-meter storage room for the collection of carpets and tapestries. On the second floor, on the other hand, a vast exhibition space of more than 800 square meters will open to the public, which will become the center of the Uffizi Galleries for temporary exhibitions.

Thereafter, a final tranche of investments of 16 million euros will cover other interventions. These include the completion of the Giardino dei Principini, which will extend over three terraces (150,000 euros), as well as the upgrading of the entrances to Forte Belvedere, Porta Romana and La Specola, with a planned budget of 650,000 euros. The main interventions in this last part of Boboli 2030 will be the integral restoration of the Amphitheater and the garden in front of it (4,000,000 euros); the architectural, sculptural and vegetal restoration of the Prato delle Colonne (1,400,000 euros) with the construction of new water disposal facilities; the securing of the boundary walls and historical gates of the Monumental Park of the Royal Stables (1.400,000 euros); the rehabilitation of the path that leads from the Corkwood to the Lavacapo (3,000,000 euros); and the construction of a new and increased Photographic Cabinet with ample space to welcome the public (1,000,000 euros) inside the Horse Infirmary. The Mascalcia facility (800,000 euros), on the other hand, will see the creation of new cataloging and archiving spaces, while a major energy efficiency upgrade will be carried out in the Annalena Building (850,000 euros). Also in the plan is the renovation of the Palazzina di Giove and the Vecchia: a large restoration laboratory of 142 square meters (200,000 euros) planned for the Palazzina and 60 square meters of new offices for the botany department and changing rooms for gardeners at the Vecchia (36,000 euros). Also in the pipeline is the restoration of the Mula, the Mascherino Tower (280,000 euros) and the Mostaccini Fountain (35,000 euros). In total, the costs of the 40 projects, which are modular and scalable, amount to about 40 million euros, to which are added another 12 million euros for routine and extraordinary maintenance of the greenery: that is, an investment of between 6 and 7 million euros in the budget each year until 2030 for the benefit of the Boboli Garden and the Garden of the Royal Stables.

“Climate warming imposes suffering and hardship on Europe’s most important historic garden, requiring swift and strong responses to protect our heritage in the present and for future generations,” says Eike D. Schmidt, director of the Uffizi Galleries, on which the Boboli Gardens depends. “This extraordinary challenge also offers the opportunity to take advantage of methods never used before, being able to take advantage of environmentally sustainable technologies developed only in recent years. I am also thinking of the fifty or so apartments and two hectares of garden occupied, until a few years ago by private individuals, as part of the rent-stopoli scandal: now that we have finally freed them up, they are being renovated and returned to public use, with services for citizens that were previously unthinkable. Services that from year to year will be added to the museum offerings: From state-of-the-art storage facilities for one of the world’s largest collections of tapestries and carpets, to the adjoining exhibition center for exhibits; to the three refreshment stations at the Kaffeehaus, the Chestnut Meadow and the Pagliere; to the new restoration laboratories; to the Education Center in the Annalena Mansion with as many as six classrooms; to the weatherproof captions that will make every walk in the garden an enlightening and intellectually enhancing experience. By presenting the master plan along with the restoration of the Kaffeehaus and ten other projects that have just been completed or are nearing completion, plus twelve more projects in the works, we would like to emphasize and demonstrate in a tangible way that ’Boboli 2030’ is not just a whim or a list of good intentions. Instead, it is a concrete commitment that will be feasible and realized over the next eight years thanks to the hard work and self-sacrifice of our architects, botanists, and administrators, and that will be financed for the most part from the Uffizi Galleries’ ticketing revenues. The perspective is not only to restore Boboli to the glories of the Medici and Lorraine times, but to go beyond that, making it the best open-air museum in the world.”

Pictured: the Amphitheater

Florence, for the Boboli Gardens maxiplan of 50 million euros. Here are all the interventions
Florence, for the Boboli Gardens maxiplan of 50 million euros. Here are all the interventions

Warning: the translation into English of the original Italian article was created using automatic tools. We undertake to review all articles, but we do not guarantee the total absence of inaccuracies in the translation due to the program. You can find the original by clicking on the ITA button. If you find any mistake,please contact us.