What to expect
This is one of largest and most celebrated gardens in Europe, the absolute model for so-called “Italian style gardens”, where Renaissance order and rationality are also reflected in the keeping of nature. Over the centuries, the garden has grown and transformed. Our tour offers the visitor the chance to travel back in time to understand the original functions and meaning of the garden, as well as its transformations over the years. We will start with the Mannerist courtyard by Ammannati, opening onto the main access to the garden. Following a short but steep climb, we will find ourselves between the Carciofo fountain and the amphitheater, created by exploiting the levelling of the hill caused by hundreds of years of extractions of pietraforte, used to pave the city centre and even to build Palazzo Pitti itself. Once upon a time, grandiose theatrical shows took place here to celebrate important family events such as weddings or coronations. We will then continue to climb until we reach the Fountain of Neptune, or “of the Pitchfork”, as it is called by the Florentines. Our tour will then lead us to the Abundance, a colossal statue started by Giambologna as memorial for Joanna of Austria, the first wife of Francis I, and this work will offer the chance to narrate intriguing stories of the Medici court. Once we reach the Garden of the Knight, located upon an ancient bastion, we will admire the countryside surrounding the city and also understand the strategic-military value of the garden. We will then start our descent along the winding paths next to the walls of Saint George Fort, last defence and bastion of the city. These will lead us to the Garden of Ganymede, once conceived as a fruit garden for the dames of the court. Here, during the XVIII century, the Lorena family built the Kaffehaus, where visitors could taste coffee and hot chocolates in the splendid scenario of the garden. The last stop on our tour is the marvellous grotto by Buontalenti, an artificial cave which once hosted the Slaves by Michelangelo, now in the Accademia Gallery and replaced by copies. The sculptures, paintings and sponge works on the walls were conceived to accompany the visitor on an initiatory journey culminating with the Venus by Giambologna, still today present in the innermost area of the grotto and hidden from the view of those who stop at the entrance. The last work we will see before exiting the garden is the curious statue of the Dwarf Morgante, irreverently bare naked on the back of a tortoise, the symbol of Cosimo I de Medici, the initiator of the Grand Duchy of Tuscany.
Guided tours organized by Icona Toscana are conducted by authorized tour guides.
You can choose the language of your tour between Italian and English. However, on request, we can organize tours with trusted colleagues in the following languages: Spanish, French, Portuguese, Russian.
Our guided tours take place regardless of the weather conditions.
For information on our tours, please contact us at email@example.com. We will reply as soon as possible. If you intend to book one or more tours, we will send you a form to compile with data concerning yourself and/or your group plus information regarding the dates of your stay and any particular needs you may want us to know about.
We require the advance payment of 30% of the total fee via bank transfer or Paypal (with an extra 4% to cover service costs) as guarantee of your confirmation. Once the payment is confirmed, we will send you a voucher featuring a summary of your purchase, including the meeting time and place for your tour.
To cancel the service, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org and communicate all details of your booking. From the date of booking up to 20 days before the date of the tour, no cancellation penalty will be applied and any payment will be returned. For cancellations communicated between 2 and 20 days before the visit, the penalty amounts to 30% of the total sum, i.e. the down payment which will not be reimbursed. For cancellations communicated less than 48 hours before the tour, we will require full payment of the service fee.
The payment of the tour guide service can be paid in cash (Euro) directly on the day of your visit, via bank transfer or via PayPal (with a 4% extra to cover service costs). This fee does NOT include entrance tickets and reservation fees for museums, churches, temporary exhibits or special events. The fee for tour guide services is VAT free, pursuant to art. 10 – comma 22 – of Presidential Decree n. 633/72. Regardless of reservations, access to museums may be delayed in periods of increased affluence, and the organizer declines all responsibility for these delays.
If you are interested in different tours and visits than those listed on this website, we can agree the compensation fees and conditions via e-mail.