The historic city centre of Florence is predominantly built with stones, its monuments are known all over the world because they are overflowed with history. Actually, Florence also offers a lot of tidy gardens, each one full of different sweet-scented flowers. That’s why we recommend you to include a visit around Florence green areas. Some of these gardens, in addition to be a great point to rest and enjoy the surrounding nature, have a breathtaking view over Florence thanks to their strategic position. Il Giardino delle Rose (The Roses’ Garden) is one of them, it is located in the Oltrarno area, under Piazzale Michelangelo (Michelangelo’s Terrace) on the left side in Viale Giuseppe Poggi,2 exactly. That is because in 1865 Florence city hall commissioned the architect Giuseppe Poggi to design this green area to inaugurate Florence as the new capital of Italy. Il Giardino delle Rose is about one hectare of terraced land and is the home of 1000 botanic varieties and 350 of them are magnificent ancient roses that date back up to 1550. The best period to visit this place is between May and June when the roses blooms and you can admire a stunning landscape of Florence enframed by colorful flowers and plants. In fact, in addition to this delightful collection of roses, here you can also find lemon tree and the Shorai Japanese oasis, donated to Florence by Kyōto city and Zen Kōdai-ji temple in 1998. Since 2011 this garden has also artwork pieces: 10 bronze sculptures and 2 gypsums made by the Belgian architect and artist Jean-Michel Folon. This garden is open every day of the year, time to access changes depending on the season but it is always free.
Under Piazzale Michelangelo (Michelangelo Terrace), on the right side you can find Il Giardino dell’Iris (The Iris’ Garden). Iris, in Florence is commonly known as Giglio or Gigliolo and it is the symbol of the city. In this garden you can find 100 species of iris and it is important to know that the blossom timing is during the spring season, so it is opened just on May and it has free access. That is also the period in which the Iris Italian Society rewards the most beautiful variety of iris coming from the combination of more flowers. This combination has the purpose to recreate the exact colour of the Florentin symbol (Giglio) which is scarlet red but the natural colour of the iris is white and purple so it is hard to reproduce it and they didn’t make it yet. Il Giardino dell’Iris is 2.5 hectares and it includes also other ornamental plants and a lake to cultivate aquatic species that joint to the incredible view give visitors a magical and romantic atmosphere.
Il Giardino Bardini is really near to Ponte Vecchio and this is the reason why people could think that the view over Florence, obviously really suggestive, is even better that Piazzale Michelangelo’s one. This garden has always been a propriety of rich Florentine families and during the years they extended it until the city wall. In the early 1900s, when it became a property of the antiquarian Stefano Bardini it became even bigger and its borders came to the top of the hill, counting 4 hectares. The cited hill is called “Belvedere” (Niceview) due to the amazing view that you can spot all over the principal Florentine monuments and the San Miniato al Monte Church. The villa in the garden, today houses a permanent collection of the artist Pietro Annigoni and also other temporary collections during the year. Il Giardino Bardini stands out for its composition, in fact you can distinguish three different kinds of gardens in terms of style and time. There is a typical Italian garden with a beautiful baroque flight of steps, an English garden that includes exotic elements and so it could be called Anglochinese garden and an agricultural park where it is settled an orchard near to the wisteria arbour that leads to the Loggia Belvedere. Wisteria is one of the most suggestive plants, visitors love it and it is said that Marco Polo brought it in Italy from China as a rare plant. Wisteria blooms in April or May and that is the best period to visit this garden or to have a picnic.
Boboli Garden is one of the most famous Italian garden in the world and it represents the perfect marriage among history, art and nature showing up as a real open air museum. This huge green area of 45.000 mq was built between the XVI and the XIX century when the Medics family was at the power with the idea that the garden had to be the gran-ducal garden of Palazzo Pitti. Boboli Garden houses sculptures coming from ancient cultures such as the Roman’s one but also art works of the XX century. Here, you can find tiny lakes with water lily, fountains, caves and buildings full of history such as the baroque Kaffeehaus that allows visitors to enjoy a marvelous view over Florence or the Limonaia that still has the typical Lorena green colour. Boboli garden has 4 accesses for the public and a private one on Piazza Pitti. The first architect of this park was Niccolò Tribolo, whom also worked at Villa Medicea di Castello Gardens, then a lot of other designers worked at this majestic garden giving it a form similar to a triangular with two almost perpendicular pathways that cross each other near the Neptune Fountain and the breathtaking landscape. This area was inaugurated in 1637 when Vittoria della Rovere, Ferdinando II De’ Medici’s wife was crowned as Gran duchess of Tuscany, but it was opened to the public during Lorena’s power. This is a really complex garden, there are a large number of historical elements, for instance you can admire the amphitheatre with an ornamental Egyptian obelisk that marks the point where the Boboli hill was digged to take the “pietraforte” (strongstone) used to build Palazzo Pitti. This garden has such a valuable importance, an incredible beauty and a stunningly elegance that in 2003 it became part of UNESCO heritage.
Here a link of one of our tour to see these wonderful gardens: https://www.madeoftuscany.it/pitti-palace-private-tour/