Gardens in florence

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Florence’s Green Gems


See the City of Lilies from a botanical point of view as you stroll through the most impressive and historic gardens to visit in Florence. Your unforgettable trek through a series of formal urban gardens that span over eight centuries will open your eyes to Florence’s profound connection to its position in the surrounding landscape and the centuries old passion for bringing ornamental green spaces to a city setting. You will encounter unexpected vistas, hidden labyrinths, ancient statues, water features and hundreds of botanical species on this surprising and revealing walk through Florence’s tranquil and artistic outdoor spaces.

Focus on flowers

Florence’s famous garden oases are not to be missed by anyone interested in the tradition of making an urban space feel lush and beautiful by imposing structure and lending a helping hand to Mother Nature.  From a hilltop view over the city, you are taken by surprise when you see the many pockets of green dotting the city like a string of jade beads hiding among the red tile roofs, high stone walls and cyprus encrusted hillsides.  The gardens of Florence are secret gems often overlooked by the casual tourist. These elegant outdoor galleries tell the story of man’s desire to connect with natural beauty and create order and form using an evolving collection of plants, flowers, sculptures, water, architecture and space...

Florence’s famous garden oases are not to be missed by anyone interested in the tradition of making an urban space feel lush and beautiful by imposing structure and lending a helping hand to Mother Nature.  From a hilltop view over the city, you are taken by surprise when you see the many pockets of green dotting the city like a string of jade beads hiding among the red tile roofs, high stone walls and cyprus encrusted hillsides.  The gardens of Florence are secret gems often overlooked by the casual tourist. These elegant outdoor galleries tell the story of man’s desire to connect with natural beauty and create order and form using an evolving collection of plants, flowers, sculptures, water, architecture and space. 

Each garden in Florence has its own unique character, be it a focus on flowers, hedges neatly clipped into fabulous topiary shapes, abundant water features or long avenues accented with ancient statues, and each is worth a visit.  You will climb to the hills on the south side of the Arno and be rewarded by a stunning view of the city from the gardens at the top. Stumble across the gardens hidden in the shadow of Fort Belvedere and pause in amazement as you feast your eyes on the expanse of one of Europe’s largest private bowers.  Each garden will delight and surprise you, leaving you with an indelible impression of these elegant urban retreats. 

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Gardens within city limits

Your garden visit in Florence will include some of the most historic and best loved gardens in all of Italy.  Take in the panoramas from San Miniato and Oltrarno Fiorentino, the statues and roses at Villa Bardini and the grandeur of the Boboli and Torrigiani Gardens.  Experience the effects of each different style and admire the fine workmanship and labor of love that has gone into the creation and maintenance of these lovely green oases...

Your garden visit in Florence will include some of the most historic and best loved gardens in all of Italy.  Take in the panoramas from San Miniato and Oltrarno Fiorentino, the statues and roses at Villa Bardini and the grandeur of the Boboli and Torrigiani Gardens.  Experience the effects of each different style and admire the fine workmanship and labor of love that has gone into the creation and maintenance of these lovely green oases.

You will visit the famous Rose Garden in Florence  at the foot of Monte alle Croci. Commissioned by the city of Florence and designed by architect Giuseppe Poggi in 1865, the Rose Garden now contains 350 varieties of roses, as well as a Japanese Shorai oasis given to the garden by Florence’s twin city, Kyoto.  Discover the eclectic collection of 12 bronze statues by Belgian sculptor Jean-Michel Folon, donated by his widow in 2011 to enhance the garden with their whimsical forms and textured surfaces. Folon said, “they are works that are meant to live outside and dialogue with their surroundings,” inviting you to touch them, sit on them and interact with them and the space of the garden simultaneously.  Stroll the Bardini Gardens in Florence, originally laid out in 1650, with a poetic English wood added in the late 19th century. Wander the gravel walkways adorned with statues, and listen to the soothing tinkle of water in the fountains and grotto. Admire the most recent restorations over the past two decades, which have breathed new life in to the grand baroque staircase and replanted traditional formal Tuscan garden elements such as camellias, viburnum, hydrangeas and wisteria. Walk along the grand avenues of the Boboli Gardens in Florence, commissioned by Cosimo de’ Medici in the mid 16th century, whose formal Renaissance style became the gold standard for garden design all over Europe.  Fountains, grottoes, statues and an elegant amphitheatre showcasing an ancient obelisk brought from Rome all await you. Visit the Torrigiani Gardens, which have the distinction of being Europe’s largest privately owned garden within the limits of a city.  Designed as a botanical garden in the 16th century, they were transformed by Marquis Pietro Torrigiani into a fashionable example of a formal romantic garden in the 19th century.  The garden’s English style incorporates formal plantings, clean lines and well defined beds and avenues, with complementary classical statuary, fountains and mysterious esoteric symbols linked to the world of Arcadia and the secretive Masons.

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Lose yourself among the labyrinths

A sensational panoramic view over Florence starts your foray into the city’s gardens.  You begin at San Miniato al Monte, the 11th century church that watches over Florence from the lofty vantage point of its hill high above the city.  The famous Romanesque architecture of the ancient church takes a back seat as your guide directs your eyes to the extraordinarily well preserved hilly green area that dominates the Oltrarno Fiorentino landscape.  You suddenly see how the city is gently held in the encircling arms of an agricultural mosaic, dotted with fields, vegetable gardens, olive groves, fruit trees, cypresses and pine trees and you begin to feel Florence’s close relationship with nature...

A sensational panoramic view over Florence starts your foray into the city’s gardens.  You begin at San Miniato al Monte, the 11th century church that watches over Florence from the lofty vantage point of its hill high above the city.  The famous Romanesque architecture of the ancient church takes a back seat as your guide directs your eyes to the extraordinarily well preserved hilly green area that dominates the Oltrarno Fiorentino landscape.  You suddenly see how the city is gently held in the encircling arms of an agricultural mosaic, dotted with fields, vegetable gardens, olive groves, fruit trees, cypresses and pine trees and you begin to feel Florence’s close relationship with nature.

Explore the gardens of the church complex and marvel at the architectural city in miniature that is the Cemetery of the Holy Doors before moving on to your next stop, the most famous rose garden in Florence, at the bottom of the steps of Monte alle Croci.  The heady scent of old roses in bloom (if it is summer) adds to your multimedia experience of the garden, its views and its statues. A short walk to the Bardini Gardens carries you closer to the the pewter and bronze waters of the Arno as you stroll down the Montecuccoli hillside and drift further down the striking descent of the garden’s showpiece baroque staircase.  Your eye is constantly drawn to the ever changing views over the rooftops of Florence below your position in the lush greenery of the garden spaces that crown the city. Cross the grounds of Fort Belvedere and admire the genius of long lost military leaders who understood the strategic value of the hilly riverbanks to the south of their city. You arrive at the famed Boboli Gardens, a UNESCO World Heritage Site adjacent to the Pitti Palace, where you find yourself in the perfectly preserved splendor of one of the world’s most famous Italianate gardens.  Explore the collection of ancient Roman statues and lose yourself among the labyrinths of box hedges and laurel. Wend your way to the Porta Romana at the garden’s southernmost boundary and step into the fascinating private garden paradise of the Torrigiani Gardens. Enjoy the expansive greenhouses, home to many species of rare plants, as well as the covered lemonry which tenderly protects and nurtures these delicately scented fruit trees. Do your best sleuthing as you attempt to unlock the secrets of the mystical symbols incorporated into this formal romantic garden, and then reflect on your day as you recline on the cool emerald lawns, a luxurious picnic at your feet and sparkling wine in your glass.  Lean back and regard the heavenly Italian skies above you, rosy gold as the sun goes down over your private garden paradise.

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