When you walk up to the Bardini Garden in Florence, you enter a peaceful world of stunning vistas and old time charm. A vast garden full of architectural delights and quiet shady corners, it is the perfect tonic for the weary tourist.
Bardini Garden – A garden with a view over Florence
The Bardini Garden is located near Boboli Gardens on the “other side of the river” Oltrarno, in Florence’s historic centre. It’s a fifteen minute walk from the Ponte Vecchio to this splendid, vast terraced garden. As you enter the Bardini Garden you feel you could be miles away from the city centre, as you’ve entered a relaxed, green haven. It’s a secret world of ancient statues, stone columns and flowery pergolas.
Every step you take up the Baroque staircase, a new photo opportunity presents itself, while Florence lies stretched in front of your eyes. You’ll clearly see the huge dome dominating the expanse of rooftops, the Palazzo Vecchio and the river Arno placidly flowing by. As you walk get to the top of the garden, there’s a vast panoramic terrace with some statues and benches to relax. You can also have a coffee at the “Loggia Belvedere” (the name says everything!). There’s a restaurant too.
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A feast of flowers in Spring
If you visit in Spring, you’re in for a treat. There is a pergola, totally covered in wisteria and when it’s in full bloom (usually it blossoms towards the mid/end of April) you have the perfect frame for your picture of Florence. Irises, the flower symbol of Florence, and different varieties of roses grow on the sides of the stone staircase and come out in mid May. In the upper part of the garden there’s a so-called “English wood” with some azaleas and camellias in vases, plus you’ll find a fountain and a vast orchard.
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The estate comprises the Villa Bardini where contemporary art exhibits are held throughout the year. If you get to the terrace of the villa (go up to the second floor) you’ll be able to take some amazing shots of Florence.
Villa Bardini hosts the Museum Annigoni dedicated to contemporary artist Pietro Annigoni and temporary art exhibitions.
A bit of history
The vast park occupies 4 hectares of the Montecuccoli hill. There was already a green space here in Medieval times, used for cultivation with orchards and vegetable gardens, surrounded by the city walls. It was restored throughout the centuries by the different families that bought it, and later joined with the adjacent estate of the Manadora villa. Finally the famous collector antiquarian Stefano Bardini bought it in 1913 and changed its look completely, using it as a private open-air show for the statues he was collecting.
After a long period of neglect In 2000 the restoration began, and the garden has been brought back to its original spledour. Today it has three parts: the Italianate garden with baroque staircase, the English wood and an agricultural park with an orchard.
How to reach the Bardini Garden
There are two entrances to the Bardini Garden: one is in Costa San Giorgio, 2 (it’s the most convenient if you’re coming from the Boboli Gardens). From here you access to the villa directly. You can buy a ticket for both Boboli and Bardini Garden, more info on the official site.
The other entrance to the Bardini Garden is in Via Bardi 1/r. From here you walk up through the garden and reach the villa at the end of your visit.
OPENING TIMES: Nov-Feb 8:15am/4:30pm – March 8:15am/5:3-pm – April, May, Sep, Oct 8:30am/6:30pm – Jun, July and August 8:30am/7:30pm.