Buontalenti Grotto

The "Grotta Grande" of Boboli (1583-93 ca.) is an artificial grotto designed by Bernardo Buontalenti and built at the end of the Vasari Corridor on commission from Grand Duke Francesco I de’ Medici. It is one of the most scenographical and captivating place of Boboli Garden, a real fairy-tale treasure chest, originally embellished by water features, and finely decorated with mother-of-pearl, shells, artificial stalactites and stones which frame frescoes and seem to confine beautiful and twisted body sculptures by famous Renaissance artists like Baccio Bandinelli or Giambologna portrayed in their effort to come out of the walls, in a sort of birth out of the elements like earth and water.

Opening hours

The Grotto is open to visitors at:




When Daylight Saving Time starts until 1st June, and later from September until the end of October, two extra programmed visits are offered, at 4.00pm and 5.00pm.

From 1st June until the end of August, extra visits are three: at 4.00pm, 5.00pm and 6.00pm.

From the last week-end of October until the beginning of Daylight Saving Time in March, the last entrance is at 3.00pm.

The first Sundays of each month the Grotto will remain closed.

During any other extra or special opening of the Garden, it will be accessible according to the aforementioned time schedule.


The Grotto is accessible to groups of maximum 25 persons. Each visit can last for a maximum of 10 minutes. The visit is free (it is included in the Boboli Garden ticket). No booking needed. Visitors are expected to meet at the closing gate of the Grotto according to the aforementioned time schedule.

School groups, like any other group exceeding 25 persons, are not admitted without a special authorization granted by the Director of the Uffizi Galleries.