Six Secret (and Not So Secret) Gardens of Florence

The Boboli Gardens and the Cascine Park are on everyone’s radar, but what about Florence’s lesser-known green spaces?

Florence is the city of marble and stone, a landscape marked by ancient monuments and century-old facades.
But for those of you craving a splash of nature in your visit, venture behind the city walls to find a world of idyllic gardens waiting to be explored.
From picture-perfect views of Florence to green havens in the city center, here are a few hidden gems worth visiting:


Torrigiani Garden

Hidden away between Porta Romana and Piazza Tasso, this green oasis captures the ‘romantic’ style of the 19th century with a touch of Renaissance splendor.
This garden is the largest private garden in Europe, a lush fairytale world you can visit accompanied by one of the private owners (the Torrigiani di Santa Cristina or the Torrigiani Malaspina).
Relax in English-style lawns, marvel at rare, exotic, plants (over 4,000) or get lost between ancient monuments and winding hedges: you might find some unexpected beauties, like a spiraling neo-Gothic tower. 

Only open for guided tours upon prior appointment.


Rose Garden

Unknown to many visitors, Florence is home to a bucolic rose garden, home to over 350 varieties of roses and Jean-Michel Folon’s bronze sculptures.
Located near the famous vista point, Piazzale Michelangelo, soak up some sun among the flowering buds or relax in the Japanese Shorai Oasis. Whatever you choose to do, this ‘garden with a view’ is an ideal escape from the city bustle.  

Open:
from May to September, 9am – 8pm; in October, 9am – 5pm;
from November to February, 9am – 5pm;
from March to April, 9am – 6pm.

Free Entrance


Terzo Giardino

The “third garden” by any other name would still be a world of spontaneous evolution; inspired by Gilles Clément, these 10,000 m of green space were given a rough garden outline and left to develop as they would in the wild.
The unkempt feel of the garden affords a waterfront view of Florence, the perfect stop before heading to Piazzale Michelangelo and a chance to admire the array of wooden sculptures hosted in the expanse. 

Open every day

Free Entrance


Bardini Gardens

Named after Stefano Bardini, the 19th century art connoisseur and dealer, the Bardini Gardens are an idyllic mix of decadence and greenery.
Surround yourself with Bourbon roses and remontant irises while strolling through a tunnel of purple wisteria; descend Baroque style stairs and you’ll find a sanctuary that affords dreamy views of Florence.
The English-style garden, located on Costa San Giorgio, is a must-see historic space, an ideal destination after visiting Bardini’s esoteric collection (located in the Bardini Museum across the street). 

Open every day, from June to August, 8.15am – 7.30pm; from April to October, 8.15am – 6.30pm; March, 8.15am – 5.30pm; November to February 8.15am – 4.30pm.

Closed first and last Monday of the month, January 1, May 1 and December 25.


Iris Garden

Peaceful garden and competitive spirit’ aren’t usually a harmonious pair, but Florence’s Iris Garden exists today thanks to the international gigli contest (the emblematic flower of Florence), founded in 1954 near Piazzale Michelangelo.
Be sure not to miss this gem in April and May when it hosts the competition for the most beautiful iris hybrid of the year – you’ll be pleasantly surprised by a stunning panoramic view of Florence and a lush mosaic of colors.  

Only open in the spring (usually end of April and May), 10am – 12.30pm, 3 – 7pm

Free Entrance


Giardino dei Semplici 

Looking for a touch of green without venturing from the historic center?
The Giardino dei Semplici is the place for you. Right around the corner from piazza San Marco you’ll find a garden born to house semplici, or medicinal plants.
Brought to its full glory by Cosimo II de’ Medici, this garden fuses nature, science and history (it’s among the oldest botanical gardens in Italy).
Today, the garden is part of the University of Florence Natural History Museum and offers visitors a chance to stroll through luminous greenhouses and rich cultivation centers. 

Open from Monday through Friday, 9:00am – 1:00pm 



Credits

Olga under CC License

Sailko under CC License.

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