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Villa Bardini (ph. Pasquale Paradiso)

ph Pasquale Paradiso

March 24, 2022

The most beautiful gardens in Florence

The green oasis absolutely to see in the city

If you look at it from above, Florence is a monumental heart of narrow streets, pietra serena palaces and terracotta tiles surrounded by a ring of hills. But if we could look beyond the Renaissance facades and the high walls that surround the properties, we would discover that appearances can be deceptive and that the city is a chessboard of gardens hidden in the back of the buildings or climbing on the sides of the hills where, especially in the Oltrarno district, the city has gradually expanded. Let's discover them together!

Villa Bardini ph. pasquale paradiso

Giardino di Boboli
With its 45 thousand square meters, Boboli is one of the most spectacular examples of Italian gardens. Built from 1418, when Luca Pitti bought the land, until the modifications made by the Savoys in the 1800s. Fountains and labyrinths, ragnias and galleries of branches, rural statues, caves and casini make Boboli a great open-air museum. The oldest part is developed towards the east from the cave of Moses to the Garden of the Knight.
The extension, wanted by Cosimo II, ideally bypasses the fortification created by Cosimo I for the war against Siena and, winding towards the south, laps Porta Romana. It was Niccolò Pericoli, known as Tribolo, Cosimo's trusted architect of greenery, who harmonized the large space by dividing it into orthogonal sections with boxwood and fruit trees, but it was Ammannati's genius to transform the pietraforte quarry into an amphitheater, first with hedges and then with masonry.
It is from there that, with the fountain of the artichoke behind you, you pass the Egyptian obelisk, you pass the fountain of the Forcone and you climb up to the bastion, built by Michelangelo during the siege of 1529, on which lies the garden of the Cavaliere and in whose subsoil a large water cistern was used to irrigate the whole garden. But the visit can be said to be complete only after having been attracted by the Grotta Grande. The result of the alchemy mind of Francesco I and his alter ego Buontalenti, it is a sort of initiatory journey towards the Mannerist beauty capable of reinventing and surpassing nature.
The three rooms, frescoed by Bernardino Poccetti, offer rural scenes, the walls, encrusted with stalactites, were sprayed with water from hidden fountains, while the prisons of Michelangelo (now in copy), introduce the interior where you meet first the statue of Paris who kidnaps Helen and then end up in the presence of a Venus pudica, Giambologna, coming out of the bathroom. An amazing path greeted by the dwarf Morgante, Cosimo I's favorite jester, who offers himself old and naked on horseback of the grand ducal turtle.

Boboli Gardens

Giardino delle Rose
A thousand botanical varieties and 350 species of ancient roses are distributed on a hectare of land modulated on French-style terraces, which rest under Piazzale Michelangelo, in Via Giuseppe Poggi 2, and offer a unique panorama of the city. It is enriched by a Japanese oasis Shorai and twelve works of the Belgian artist Jean-Michel Folon.

Rose Garden

Giardino dell’Iris
Located between the corner of Viale dei Colli and Piazzale Michelangelo in the Podere dei Bastioni, the Iris Garden has an area of about two and a half hectares, and offers a spectacular view of the city and the famous Florentine square. Open only from May 2 to 20, from 10 am to 6 pm, it is a treasure trove dedicated to the flowers that are the symbol of Florence, which grow wild here in the steep meadows and among the olive trees, in a landscape that seems light years away from the city.

Iris Garden

Giardino di Villa Bardini
The baroque staircase of the Italian garden is majestic, but in the mind is fixed the wonder of the thick wisteria pergola that blooms in spring and is a symbol of the development of human consciousness. Since the Middle Ages, the Bardini Garden has belonged to wealthy families who have succeeded one another: born for agricultural purposes, it was transformed over the centuries into the splendid Italian garden that it is today. In the early twentieth century it was used by the owner from whom it takes its name, the collector Stefano Bardini, known as the "prince of antiquarians", also as a spectacular environment of representation, in which to welcome his wealthy clientele. The Bardini Garden integrates three gardens, different in age and style: the Italian garden, with its magnificent Baroque staircase; the English woodland which, with its exotic elements, represents a rare example of Anglo-Chinese garden; the agricultural park in which a new orchard and the splendid wisteria pergola have found their place.

Bardini Garden

Giardino Torrigiani
In the extreme southern part of the Oltrarno district, the largest private garden in Europe, the Torrigiani Garden, already famous in the 16th century as a Botanical Garden, extends over 7 hectares. It can be visited, together with the Nursery, but only by appointment (via dei Serragli 144) while everyone can access the bistro Serre Torrigiani (via di Gusciana, 21).

Torrigiani Garden Greenhouse

Giardino Corsini
On this side of the Arno, the ancient Palazzo Corsini al Prato (Via della Scala, 115), where the family still resides, is surrounded by the magnificent Corsini Garden, also the scene of exclusive events such as Artigianato e Palazzo.

Corsini Garden

Giardino Dell’Orticoltura
So elegant that it was chosen as a film set, it was established by the Società Toscana di Orticoltura (Tuscan Horticultural Society) in 1852 on the property of Marquis Ginori Lisci and Marquise Venturi. In 1880, a national exhibition was organized in the city and, based on Roster's design, the tepidarium was built in iron and glass in Art Nouveau style that still characterizes it today. Not far from the spectacular greenhouse a lawn with a delightful renaissance loggia Through a pedestrian passage over the railroad you can access the so-called Garden of the gardens of Parnaso, a small green area located on a panoramic slope, where stands a fountain in the shape of a snake or dragon, which winds imaginatively on the staircase.

Orticoltura Garden

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