30 Apr 8 Gardens in Florence you absolutely must visit
Finally spring with its beautiful sunny days is coming (a little late but it is coming) and what better reason to enjoy a nice walk on the green and in nature? So here I come to you and provide you with a nice comprehensive guide to my city. Florence at first glance may seem like a very but very gray city but in reality it is not. Within the historic center there are many small and large gardens, most of them hidden from the eyes of tourists and protected by inner courtyards and walls. The most famous and the first one that comes to mind is Boboli but this is certainly not the only garden in Florence because there are so many others that you could dedicate one trip to visit them all. But don't worry because these beautiful gardens in Florence can be visited even on fine summer days as they retain their beauty.
So in this article I will describe 8 gardens in Florence located in the historic center to visit alternating with the churches, museums and monuments of the wonderful Tuscan capital. Instead, in a next article I will list the gardens to visit outside the historic center of Florence (which you can already see from the map below anyway).
The Gardens of Florence located in the historic center
The Boboli Garden is absolutely a must-visit if you are in Florence because it is a place of great historical importance to the city and certainly the most beautiful garden in Florence. Located behind the Pitti Palace this huge green area is a true open-air museum. Inside are housed ancient Renaissance statues, large fountains and ornamental grottos (the most famous one is made by Buontalenti). Its evocative interior paths will allow you to capture the spirit of court life and discover the history of Florence. I suggest you visit the Limonaia with its many citrus trees and the Kaffehaus, a place where in those days people stopped to sip coffee.
The Boboli Garden is open daily from 8:15 am. Tickets cost €10.00 and are cumulative with the Villa Bardini Garden. For more information on hours and ticket reservations I leave you HERE the official page.
Garden of Villa Bardini
This wonderful garden in Florence is divided into three parts by era and style: the Italian garden, the Anglo-Chinese garden, and the agricultural park. The entrance is located at Costa San Giorgio 2 but there is also access from the historic center of Florence at Via de Bardi 1 red. It is, in my opinion, the most beautiful and evocative garden in Florence, much more than Boboli, because in addition to letting you discover seven centuries of Florentine history, here you can admire the most enchanting views of the landscape of the hills surrounding the city and the monuments of Florence. Don't absolutely miss the flowering of the wisteria that from late April to May fills this wonderful garden in Florence with purple hues. In addition to this you can also admire the camellias blooming in March, the azaleas and rhododendrons in bloom in April, the roses in May, and the hydrangeas in June.
The Villa Bardini Garden is open daily from 10:00 am to 7:00 pm with last access at 6:00 pm. The only closing days are the first and last Monday of each month. Tickets cost €10.00 and can be combined with the Boboli Gardens. Pets are not allowed even if kept on a leash.
Located below and on the left side of Piazzale Michelangelo facing the city, the Rose Garden is the perfect place to take a stroll and enjoy a break overlooking the city. The best time to go there is from April to June when the more than 350 species of roses are in bloom. In addition to this you will also find 12 sculptures by artist Jean-Michel Folon scattered around the garden that enrich it. The most striking in my opinion is "Partir" which is a huge bronze frame in the shape of a suitcase placed on one of the viewing terraces. If you try to look inside you will observe a wonderful view of Florence. Finally icing on the cake is the beautiful Japanese oasis Shorai donated by Japanese architect Yasuo Kitayama. In short, this is definitely one of the most evocative and fragrant gardens in Florence and is well worth a visit.
The Rose Garden is open daily from 9 a.m. to sunset and has free admission. The space is fenced off and can be accessed either from Viale Poggi or from the steps of Piazzale Michelangelo or from Via del Monte alle Croci.
The Iris Garden in Florence was established in 1954 for the purpose of hosting an annual international competition for the best varieties of iris. This flower is also known as lily or iris and is the symbol of the city. Hence, this garden in Florence is one of the key places and connected to the Tuscan capital. The Iris Garden gives you the chance to see Florence from a privileged position, enjoy the scent and color of the flowers and also admire other ornamental plants and the beautiful pond. The best time to visit this garden in Florence is May when the flowers are in bloom.
The Iris Garden has free admission daily from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. It is open from April 25 to May 20 including holidays and can be accessed from Michelangelo Avenue.
Garden of Simples
The Giardino dei Semplici is the botanical garden of Florence and also the third oldest in the world. It was commissioned by Cosimo de' Medici to supplement the lessons of the students of the faculty of medicine and thus consequently to cultivate medicinal plants and herbs. The collection was enriched in the 16th and 17th centuries by the addition of botanical rarities from around the world. Today the Giardino dei Semplici is part of the university museum system of the University of Florence and the Museum of Natural History. Inside you can admire huge greenhouses with a wide variety of tropical and non-tropical plants inside, centuries-old tree specimens, unique flowers and much more.
Admission to the "Botanical Garden" of the Simples is chargeable and costs €6.00 full ticket and €3.00 reduced ticket. Opening hours are from 10:00 am to 6:00 pm from Tuesday to Sunday. For more information I leave you HERE the link to the museum's page.
Corsi or d'Annalena Garden
The Corsi or d'Annalena Garden is located in Florence between Via dei Serragli, Via de' Mori and Via Romana. Basically, this garden in Florence is located in the middle between the Boboli Garden and the Torrigiani Garden and occupies an area of 500 square meters. In the 15th century the aera was part of the ancient garden of the Annalena nuns while only later in the 19th century did it become the Romantic garden as we see it today. This all happened thanks to the purchase of the land by Marquis Corsi and the design of architect Giuseppe Manetti. Inside you'll find a large elliptical boxwood flower bed, a panoramic terrace overlooking the Tuscan countryside, neoclassical furnishings, and above all the beautiful Temple of Song.
The Corsi or d'Annalena Garden is a private garden and consequently is open only on special occasions.
The Torrigiani Garden is located right in the center of the city of Florence and is one of the few green areas in an optimal state of preservation within the city walls. At seven hectares in size, it is the largest private garden in Europe. Inside you will find various paths among hills and green lawns with statues and other works that symbolize and refer to Freemasonry, to which Marquis Torrigiani and the creator of the garden were affiliated. Besides that inside this beautiful garden in Florence you can admire tree species and plants from different parts of the world. Do not miss the famous "torrino" that is a neo-Gothic style tower about 40 meters high and placed on an artificial hill.
The entrance to the Torrigiani Garden is located at Via dei Serragli 144 and its visit is possible only by appointment made with one of the owners. To make arrangements I leave you HERE the contact page.
Although not right in the city center and also a garden, I wanted to include Cascina Park in this article because it is only a short walk from Florence's main attractions. It is also known as the green lung of Florence because of its size of 160 hectares and about 3.5 km in length. In the past, the farmsteads served as the hunting estate of the Medici Family and a farm devoted to cattle breeding and cheese production. Later in the 18th century at the behest of the Grand Duke, the park was reclaimed and opened to the public. Characterized by rich vegetation, vast lawns, avenues and paths, Cascine Park is the ideal place to take a nature walk. Inside you will encounter more than 19,000 trees of 60 different species and 7 rest areas where you can set up your picnic. In addition to this you will also find a beautiful monument (the Indian Monument) dedicated to the Indian prince who visited and died in Florence in 1865; the Neo-Egyptian pyramid that was used to store food; the monument to Victor Emmanuel II; and two marzocchi in the walkway.
Cascine Park is free access and always open. From the historic center you can easily get there by taking the T1 tramway towards Villa Costanza and getting off at the Cascine stop.
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