The horseshoe amphitheatre that greets visitors at the main entrance of Palazzo Pitti is actually located where the hill was excavated to remove the stone (pietraforte) used to build the palace itself.
The Ocean Fountain, which today is located in the south-west area of the garden (L'Isolotto), was once at the centre of the amphitheatre, where we can still see the Egyptian obelisk installed in 1790, the only one of its kind in Tuscany.
The Giardino del Cavaliere is one of the Boboli’s walled gardens. The name comes from the location, built atop (a cavallo) a bastion that is part of the city’s fortifications designed by Michelangelo. Here, the low hedges surround rare species of dahlias and roses. The central fountain is decorated with three bronze monkeys at the base. The garden is also home to the Casino del Cavaliere, where the Porcelain Museum is located.
The Limonaia comes from the Medici family’s interest in having citrus groves in their gardens, which were considered exotic plants. During the cold winters, they needed to be moved indoors, so the old mosaics and statues factory was transformed into a “limonaia,” a special building used specifically for this purpose. Under the reign of Grand Duke Peter Leopold, the Limonaia also housed exotic animals, including a hippopotamus.
The Kaffeehaus is a unique Rococo pavilion offering a splendid view of the city.