Designed by Tribolo, the first architect of the Boboli Gardens in the 16th century, the “Madama Grotto” was part of an original plan including the adjacent Garden of Dwarf Fruit Trees, sculptural groups and a network of pebble paths. Commissioned by Eleonora of Toledo, wife of Cosimo I de’ Medici, the grotto was built by Davide Fortini, Tribolo’s brother-in-law, who headed the works at his death (1550). The grotto imitates an underground and natural site though it is completely external and artificial. Inside, its ceiling is barrel vaulted and its walls are made of spongy stone with architectural elements, frames and niches. All its iconography aims at celebrating Cosimo I, who chose to identify himself with the sign of Capricorn, symbol of men destined to succeed thanks to calm and stubbornness. In doing so, Cosimo wished to ideally rejoin with the mighty both from his time and from the past such as Charles V and Caesar Augustus, born under the sign of Capricorn




from the 20th of March to the 18th of April

From the 2nd to the 17th of  May

From the 1st to the  5th of June giugno

From Tuesday to Friday 8,15am - 2,00pm