The city of Florence is full of hidden gardens tucked away behind impenetrable iron gates and forbidding walls. Come with Helvetia & Bristol Firenze - Starhotels Collezione, discovering the real beauty!
We are at the Parco Bardini offers one of the best photo opportunities in Florence. This green oasis lies in the Oltrarno on a steep hill wedged between Piazzale Michelangelo and Boboli. The garden retains its 15th century layout with terraces and paths planted with irises, roses, wisteria, hydrangeas, spectacular giant azaleas, fruit trees and dotted with statues and fountains.
A different type of garden altogether is to be found just north of Piazza San Marco. Owned by Florence university, the Giardino dei Semplici for the most part maintains the original layout designed by Tribolo for Cosimo I dei Medici in 1545-46. One of the three oldest botanical gardens in the world.
Back in the Oltrarno near the old gate of Porta Romana and covering six hectares, the Giardino Torrigiani is the largest garden within the city walls.
So much for city centre gardens, but if Florence’s relentless tourist hoards become too oppressive, head to the hilltop village of Settignano and Villa Gamberaia. The estate is home to one of Tuscany’s most famous gardens, a grand Baroque design set among olive groves and immersed in birdsong with far-reaching views of the Arno valley and Florence.