Tuscany’s green spaces are many and varied. From elegant Renaissance gardens to gorgeous parks filled with colour and surprises for adults and kids. Here’s a list of our favourite parks and gardens in Tuscany.
Explore the best parks and gardens in Tuscany
There are so many lovely green places in Tuscany you could plan your holiday around them. Get a taste of the Medici’s passion for gardens at one of the Villas surrounding Florence. Walk in one of the nature reserves, or see art and nature mingling at the sculpture parks. Once you’ve seen some of the Best Florentine Gardens, it’s time to leave the city and discover what the rest of Tuscany has to offer.
Get some fresh air – Parks and nature reserves in Tuscany
The best green space near Florence to forget the bustle of the city is the Pratolino Demidoff Park, This is a vast green oasis a few kilometres from Florence. It’s perfect for a picnic or stretching your legs after too many museums. But if you still crave art, you’ll find the massive statue of the Colossus of the Apennines by Giambologna (1579-80) much loved by the Florentines. (You can reach it via public transport from Florence city centre with the bus ATAF 25A – entrance is free)
If you’re craving open spaces, the Parco Orecchiella near Lucca is another perfect spot. This is a vast and well-kept nature reserve with a coffee shop and places to eat. There’s even a small animal park for the kids. It has great opportunities for hikers of all levels, right at the foot of the Garfagnana mountains.
From mountain to beaches: for those in need of fresh air and activities, The Uccellina Nature Reserve in the Maremma in southern Tuscany is the best destination for long walks in unspoilt pine groves and sea air, while the National Park Foreste Casentinesi, a few kilometers from Arezzo in eastern Tuscany offers great mountain views and unspoilt woodland.
=> See the Best Flower Festivals in Tuscany in Spring.
Get to the villas – Villas and Gardens in Tuscany
Visit a Medici Villa – A visit to a Medicean Villa is the perfect way to enjoy nature in Renaissance style. And one of the most rewarding, and easy to get to, is the Villa La Petraia in Castello on the outskirts of Florence. You can take the bus, but be advised there’s a steep walk from the stop. At Villa Mediceea Poggio a Caiano you can see the gardens and have guided tours of the villa. While at Villa Medicea di Castello only the gardens are open to visitors.
La Foce – Pure enchantment and natural elegance can be found at the estate La Foce, near Pienza in the Val d’Orcia. Created by the Origo family (Iris Origo was the British-born writer that wrote about Val d’Orcia in her books) the house and grounds seem to blend into the surrounding countryside. It’s a place of harmony, and a part of Tuscany’s architectural and cultural heritage. Check their website for opening hours: lafoce.com.
Villa Cetinale – This villa is another gem in Siena province, complete with gardens. Check website, booking essential: villacetinale.com.
Lucca is literally surrounded by green. Its massive walls offer a 4 km. long tree-lined walkway for cycling or walking. From the walls you can see the small but attractive gardens of Villa Pfanner, we advise visiting for its unique atmosphere. Also consider a visit to late Renaissance Villa Reale Marlia and its renowned gardens.
Get arty – Sculpture parks
Art and sculpture enthusiasts should head directly for the Chianti Sculpture Park with its olive groves and contemporary artistic creations.
Or, for an explosion of colour and creativity that the young and old can enjoy, drive to Maremma‘s favourite Tarot Garden near Capalbio to see the work of the French artist Niki de Saint Phalle, who was clearly inspired by Gaudì. Of the parks and gardens in Tuscany, this is one of most popular.