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Green masterpieces: a stroll in the monumental gardens of Florence

There are so many things to do and attractions to see in Florence that you are spoiled for choice!

Among the historic buildings and the ancient Medici palaces, the most famous museums and cathedrals, not to mention the alleys of the historic center and the Lungarno full of sun.

The exclusive shopping is waiting for you in the boutiques of Via de 'Tornabuoni and Piazza Strozzi, for an espresso with a touch of elegance, the historic cafés of Piazza della Repubblica and Piazza della Signoria are the best choices.

However, if you visit the city with the eyes of a Florentine, you will soon recognize green treasures of unexpected beauty next to mighty walls and Renaissance coats of arms. The monumental gardens of Florence are precious gems, mosaics of nature to explore with slowness and wide-open eyes.

The most famous garden: Boboli

Everyone coming to visit Florence has certainly heard once about the Boboli Gardens... it would be strange otherwise! Due its central position, within the museum complex of Palazzo Pitti but accessible from other points in the city, and the sculptural masterpieces housed inside, our most noble garden is probably the best-known one. Precisely thanks to its lucky position, Boboli is ideal for tourists taking a break in nature while working their way between one museum and another.

Florentines love it the same way, or even more: I personally like to take an hour or two a week, in the spring, to stroll among gushing fountains and stone allegories. The Medici family created the Boboli Gardens in 4 centuries of constant work and I thank them every time for such a gift.

Immerse yourself in this open-air museum with curiosities and you will be amazed by the Fountain of the Ocean by Giambologna, Buontalenti’s Grotto and the eighteenth century Kaffehaus.

Embrace the city at the Bardini Garden

Not far from Boboli, there is another garden worthy of a visit (but also more than one!): the park of Villa Bardini. Inside, you will feel in a small eighteenth-century court, surrounded by English gardens, neat flowerbeds and refined statues. Intense spots of color and very sweet fragrances come from blooming wisteria.

But what I appreciate most here is definitely the view: with its terracing, the garden ensures an overall view of the city center. In a single glance, your eyes embrace Brunelleschi's Dome, the noble profile of Palazzo Vecchio, the frenetic riversides and the solemn Church of Santa Croce.

The most romantic gardens: Iris and Rose

If you are traveling in couple, you can’t beat a stroll in the Rose Garden, in my opinion. The atmosphere is impalpable and magic, due to the gentle slope of Piazzale Michelangelo, the terrace overlooking the city and the sweetest scents in the air. From May to July, in fact, the fragrances of more than 350 species of roses bloom, giving all their essence. Treat yourself to a very romantic walk, among enchanted petals and the sculptures by Jean-Michel Folon. You will not regret it!

The Iris Garden too is entirely dedicated to a flower, the lily, symbol of our city. The flowering season of this flower is brief, so the park is open less than a month a year, from 25 April to 20 May.

At other times of the year, it can only be visited by appointment. If you stay in Florence in springtime, I really recommend you to take some time to breathe deeply the indescribable fragrances of this garden.

The green outside the city center: the Cascine

The Cascine garden is a bit far from the center, but you can easily reach it by public transport and is definitely worth the trip. Vast and well kept, it was designed by the Medici and it has long been the main park of the noble Florentine family.

Nowadays families, couples and lovers of running and cycling come here, especially during weekends. Looking for a little escape from the city, the Cascine Park is one of my favorite spots. This is the largest Florentine public park, 130 hectares of leafy trees and green meadows where you can run or lie in the sun.

Stroll through the internal avenues, admire the ducks and herons on the Arno riverside or treat yourself to a sandwich on the grass. Breathe deeply.

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