Villas & Gardens

The symbol of Florence is a red lily, so you’d expect it to have plenty of lush gardens, though you have to know where to find them.

Renaissance villas and pleasure gardens are spread around the Florentine countryside. They bear testimony to the influence the Medici family exerted over modern European culture through its patronage of the arts. Built between the 15th and 17th centuries, they represent an innovative system of rural construction in harmony with nature and dedicated to leisure, the arts and knowledge. These villas embody innovative form and function, a new type of princely residence that differed from both the farms owned by rich Florentines of the period and from the military might of medieval castles. The Medici villas form the first example of the connection between habitat, gardens, and the environment and became an enduring reference for princely residences throughout Italy and Europe. Their gardens and integration into the natural environment helped develop the appreciation of landscape characteristic Humanism and the Renaissance.

Not all Tuscan gardens are far out of town. We can visit some of the UNESCO Medici villas closest to town, or see some of the other very interesting gardens located right in the historical center.

  • Boboli Gardens
  • Bardini Gardens
  • Botanical Garden “Orto dei Semplici”
  • Garden of Horticulture
  • The Rose Garden
  • The Iris garden
  • Parco delle Cascine
  • Giardino della Gherardesca
  • Villa Medicea della Petraia
  • Villa Medicea di Castello
  • Villa Corsini
  • Parco Pazzagli

Less known garden Itinerary: Bardini, Oltrarno district, Rose Garden, San Miniato

  • Duration: up to four hours.
  • Meeting point: at the lobby of your hotel if located in the downtown Florence (or any other spot available upon request)
  • Main visited sites and content: History of Florentine Renaissance Gardens and anecdotes about the most unpredictable and shrewd Florentine antique dealer Stefano Bardini. Entrance and visit to the Bardini Garden. Pleasant and panoramic walk along marble statues and flowers overlooking Florence. Explore the authentic Oltrarno district, a laboratory of bookbinding and an original goldsmith (and alchemistry) studio. On the way to Piazzale Michelangelo and the Roses garden stop at one of the most curious modern street artists and a traditional gourmet stores. The last part of the itinerary  can include the hike up the monumental staircase to San Miniato al Monte, a Romanesque church, to hear Gregorian chaints in the crypt (available every day at 6 pm).
  • Optional: stop at fresco painting laboratory. Fresco Painting session available upon request. Wine tasting along the way.

Cost of the tour: from Euro 50,00 per hour  based on 2 persons (total cost, not per person)
Entrance fees to the Gardens not included, to be paid locally (Bardini Garden entrance ticket is valid one day and can be used in the same day to enter Boboli gardens, Silver, Porcelaine and Costume Museum inside Pitti Palace).

For further information or tailor-made requests please contact: info@florencewithflair.com