Spring in the gardens of Florence

If you want to have a break from the crowd of tourists visiting and queueing for art museums in Florence, here are some interesting tips and "green" escapes to have a break, enjoy nature and some quiet places within the city without stressing out to reach the countryside.

Orto Botanico Firenze

[Photo Credits: Putneypics]
[Photo Credits: Putneypics]
The first interesting place where you can find some peace and that is well connected with nature is the Orto Botanico, also known as the Giardino dei Semplici ("Garden of simples") a botanical garden, now maintained by the University of Florence and located in Via Micheli, 3. This garden is very close to the San Marco Museum and church. It is a haven of tranquility, with shady places, away from the hustle of central Florence. It's a 2,3 hectares garden, opened during week day mornings and there is an admission fee. This was originally the Medici's family medicine garden, established in 1545 by Cosimo I de' Medici. It's the third oldest botanical garden after Pisa's and Padova's. In 1753, when the Società Botanica was formed, the garden's layout slighlty changed because it became an "experimental agricultural"area. Today the garden contains over 9,000 species of plants: different types of trees, herbs, flowers, fruit trees, a lily pond,a japanese style garden, carnivorous plants and in the middle there is a lovely fountain.

Giardino di Boboli

Its a nice break from the crowds and museums, a quiet and peaceful oasis surrounded by art, history and nature! When your energies are getting low and you do not have the strength to bicycle or bus out of the city to the countryside, this is the perfect solution! Giardino di Boboli or Giardino dei Boboli, is the famous garden of the the Medici's Florentine Villa: Palazzo Pitti. The garden was originally designed in 1549 by the sculptor Tribolo, the renaissance design was as regular as it could be on an undulating site. During the century after its inception, the garden changed and developed with help from many prominent designers. It became Florence's grandest garden, with an early baroque drama and some avenues. This suited the theatrical events which were held. Inside this garden lies the Buontalenti grotto (1583-1593). Decorated with Mannerist-style scenes from Greek and Roman mythology, the grotto includes copies of Michelangelo's famous Slave series, the originals of which were transferred to the Galleria dell'Accademia . In the 17th Century, the garden was extended as far as the Porta Romana, adding the Vasca d'Isola (pond) at the centre with a fountain and a statue of Neptune. In the late 18th century, Zanobi del Rosso built the Kaffehaus pavilion. Moreover from the Boboli Garden you have a really special view of Florence, make sure you leave plenty of time to wander through the really big garden as there is something to discover in every nook! To know where, how and when visit the official site of Giardino dei Boboli Source (Gardenvisit)

Bardini Garden

Since you have entered the Boboli Garden, you should also visit the Bardini Garden, there is a cumulative ticket for both of them! This garden is not really well known, not even to florentines. The garden was originally built and owned by the Mozzi Family bought by a famous antiques dealer whose villa is now the next-door Bardini Museum (the entrance is across the street). Bardini left the museum to the state and the garden to his son, who donated that to the state after his death in the 1960s. But for the following 40 years it fell into terrible disrepair! Thanks to the involvement of a bank and the creation of a foundation to deal with it, in 2000 they started restoring the garden and it only reopened to the public last year. Fore more detailed information about the Bardini Garden check out also our previous post and visit the official website of the Bardini Garden.

Florence Tepidarium

Giardini Dell'Orticultura [Photo Credits: Eleonora Gorini]
Giardini Dell'Orticultura [Photo Credits: Eleonora Gorini]
Another really cool place to visit is Florence's Roster Tepidarium and the Garden of Horticulture was originally built in 1862 and is the largest greenhouse existing in Italy. This is a Liberty Style building that had been in disuse for many years but has recently been transformed into a bone fide 'garden of Eden' and populated with hundreds of different species of plants and flowers and butterflies. Now a bar on location serves selected teas in fine Ginori porcellain, and will allow you to enjoy it while admiring the magical flight of over 400 multi-coloured butterflies. This is the perfect place to go after a long, hot day of visiting art and culture, a place where you can read a book or just sit back, chill out and relax while admiring these wonderful creatures. Information regarding this year's opening hours are not out yet, but we will update this post as soon as they will come out. In the meantime you can monitor the official web site teconlefarfalle and maybe read more about it on Tuscany Art's previous post Florence Tepidarium .