The”wunderkammer” of the Renaissance architect, Bernardo Buontalenti, in Boboli Gardens, Florence

The Grande Grotta, the largest grotto of Boboli’s Gardens, a real spectacular Florentine jewel plunged inside a green background, has been enhanced by the recently- set lighting project, based on a software of a low energy consumption. The light from external direct source ends up in an enchanting final effect over the grotto rooms, adorned with magnificent artworks. Here you can admire Michelangelo’s replica “slaves” , unfinished sculpture for Pope Julius the 2nd’s tomb, whose original can be seen at the Galleria dell’Accademia , together with “Theseus and Arianna” sculpted by Vincenzo de’ Rossi in 1560 and ” Bathing Venus “by Giambologna.

The grotto, planned by Bernardo Buontalenti between 1583 and 1593 on a previous building by Vasari, the great renaissance architect of Cosimo the1st, is divided into three rooms whose decorations remind us of the symbolic universe made up of primeval chaos and invigorating forces of Eros.

Originally characterized by a fountain of spouting water games and by an ante litteram acquarium , the grotto’s story is told in an interesting book by Sergio Risaliti “Bernardo Buontalenti e la Grotta Grande di Boboli” focusing on the place both as a place of refreshment and relief from hot Florentine summers and contemporarily as a functional store of Medicis’ ice supply. The romantic side is not forgotten. The spot was often the foreground of the difficult love story between Francesco de’ Medici and Bianca Capello.

The new lighting has been sponsored by Sammontana, as a homage to Bernardo Buontalenti in a sort of ideal junction between the inventor of” Crema Gelata” for the Medici banquets and one of the most famous leaders of ice cream manufacturers .

See on purpose the article on the blog of Tuscany Holiday Rent “ Florence Ice Cream Festival 2012”

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