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cover primavera

text Mila Montagni
photo Ottavia Poli

March 20, 2020

The gardens of Florence where to breathe the spring

A photo and inusual walk to get to know the green soul of a city made not only of magnificent marble

What is now known as the “Italian garden” was invented by Niccolò Tribolo, appointed by Grand Duke Cosimo I de’Medici to design a garden for his beloved Villa di Castello. This unusual itinerary offers an opportunity to discover the gardens of Florence and see how they have evolved in accordance with changing taste (as in the case of Villa Bardini), the history of what used to be a capital city (in the monumental Boboli Gardens), science (find out how
at Arcetri) and art (Liceo di Porta Romana is a secret well worth discovering).
With a special focus on multiples (in the Rose Garden on the way to San Miniato), study (in the Horticulture Gardens) and environmental awareness (as in the Orti Dipinti Community Gardens), without forgetting to stop for lunch, of course (at Le Lune)!

Gardens of Villa Bardini

Three gardens in one, all different, with breath-taking views over the city from their hillside position in the Oltrarno district. The Baroque staircase in the Italian garden is majestic, but what you will remember most is the dense pergola of wisteria, flowering in spring, a symbol of the unfolding of human consciousness.

Boboli Gardens

A natural extension of any visit to Palazzo Pitti, the Boboli Gardens were painstakingly
cultivated by the Medici, Lorena and Savoia families, who have added masterpieces such as the Buontalenti Grotta and facilities such as the Kaffeehaus pavilion over the centuries. A garden for princes, now a heritage well worth discovering, exploring its 45 hectares along the Viottolone path.

Arcetri Astrophysical Observatory Gardens

The Solar Tower erected in June of 1925 in memory of Galileo Galilei stands out on the horizon, but the real highlight of this garden is a scale model of the solar system, complete with planets in their actual colours and the legends that have accumulated around them over the centuries.

Gardens of the Liceo Artistico di Porta Romana

A historic park dating back to the age when Florence was a capital city, created along with the Royal Stables and the residential quarters for the staff who looked after the royal family’s horses. Now, along with the nearby gardens of Palazzo Pitti and Viale dei Colli, it is a true green lung for the city, measuring over six hectares.

Rose Garden

A thousand botanical varieties and 350 ancient rose species in a hectare of land formed into French terraces under Piazzale Michelangelo, with unique views over the city. Features a Shorai Japanese oasis and twelve works by Belgian artist Jean-Michel Folon.

Horticultural Garden

Elegant enough to be chosen as a film set, planted by the Tuscan Horticulture Society in 1852 on a property owned by the Marquis Ginori Lisci and Marquise Venturi. The iron and glass tepidarium that still stands today was built when the city hosted a nation-wide exhibition in 1880.

Orti Dipinti

An unexpected green space in Borgo Pinti, this garden is all about maintaining biodiversity and educating about life in all its forms. Little terracotta sculptures, herbs, edible flowers and big wooden containers make this urban public area on a former athletic field a little miracle of guerrilla gardening.

Le Lune Nursery

On the road to Fiesole, a formal garden all about history and elegance, a corner in which to withdraw and enjoy a meal surrounded by all the varieties of plant found in the greenhouse and the garden facing it. Another way of discovering Tuscany…

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