martedì 16 luglio 2013

Known and hidden gardens in Florence

Boboli Garden
by Ilaria Gelichi




Today I’m going to write a little about Florentine gardens. Florence has a lot of green areas: some gardens are big and famous, like Boboli Garden, others are less known but not less charming.
Let’s start with the well-known ones and then we will discover the “hidden” ones.

Boboli Garden

Boboli is one of the biggest gardens in Florence (45000 m2) and it is linked with Palazzo Pitti, the ancient residence of the Medici family. The first project of Boboli was done by Niccolò Pericoli during the 16th century, then modified during the 18th and 19th century, becoming as we admire it today. Boboli has a lot of statues inside it and for this reason – but also for its architecture - could be considered an open-air museum. It is one of the best examples of Italian garden, which mixes landscape with architecture, creating an amazing union of colours and shapes.
Price: Euro 3

Parco delle Cascine

This park was property of the Medici family and was bought for cattle breeding and as shooting ground. In 1786 Giuseppe Manetti started some renovation works to turn Cascine into a big public park, enriched with architecture and decorations: Fontana delle Boccacce for example, or the pyramid that had function of icebox.
Located on the right bank of the river Arno, it is the biggest park in Florence; Florentines go here during weekends to jogging or walking.
Price: free

Giardino delle Rose
Giardino delle Rose

“Garden of roses”, this is the meaning of the name of this garden, created by Florence municipality between Viale delle Rampe and Via delle Croci. It has been one of the glories of the Florentine horticultural tradition for decades and a nice detour during a stroll on the Viale dei Colli. In 1998 it was enriched with an “international area”: a Japanese garden “Shorai”, donated to Florence by the city of Kyoto and the Zen temple “Kodai-Ji”. It is worth a visit, especially in May when the roses bloom.                        
Price: free

Giardino dell’Iris

This garden can be reached driving on the Viale dei Colli, and the entrance is on the left side of Piazzale Michelangelo. It can be visited during the month of May, when the irises – the symbol of the city of Florence – bloom. The garden is home to more than 2000 varieties of this flower, which is widespread in the Arno valley and painted in red on the emblem of Florence. The iris (or lily) is frequent in Florentine decorations, in the past as nowadays – it was on the first silver coins and then on the golden fiorino.
Price: free

Giardino di Villa Bardini
Giardino di Villa Bardini

This garden has been recently restored, after several years of neglect and decay. For this reason, it is not well-known yet but it can be defined a little piece of paradise on the hill which from Costa S. Giorgio goes down to the river Arno. From here it is possible to admire the Duomo’s dome, Palazzo Vecchio and S. Croce church. Admiring the beauty of Florence is not the only thing to do in this garden: there are frequent exhibitions and a restaurant with a terrace, open for lunch and dinner. 
Price: Euro 6

Giardino di Palazzo Corsini al Prato

You would not expect to find such an enchanting place only a couple of steps from the crowded and congested Porta al Prato. Palazzo Corsini was designed by Buontalenti in the 16th century, commissioned by Alessandro Acciaiuoli - a nobleman with a passion for botany who wanted a villa with a great park inside the city. The garden of the palace is full of lemon trees, flowers and trees and during the visit it is possible to meet some turtles, free to wander in the garden. It is home to 180 citrus plants and has 3 big limonaias.
Price: Euro 5

Giardino dei Semplici
Giardino dei Semplici

This garden was founded in 1545 by Cosimo de’ Medici and is the third more ancient botanical garden (after the ones of Pisa and Padova). Half of its area is occupied by “hot” and “cold” greenhouses, with plants from all over the world (more than 6000). At open air there are trees, vegetables and medicinal plants; the collection is enlarged every year.
Price: Euro 4

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