In addition to providing a peaceful green space, this remarkable terraced garden near the Ponte Vecchio offers terrific views of the city. Its scale—much smaller than that of the Boboli Gardens—gives it a more intimate feel. In spite of its size, it includes an incredible diversity of garden styles. Climb the grand central staircase and wander from woodlands to an Anglo-Chinese garden, with fountains and sculptures in the mix, as well as visible fragments of the garden’s original medieval walls. The famed 19th-century art dealer Stefano Bardini lived in the Villa Mozzi (now the Villa Bardini) and it is his unique taste and vision that continues to shape this ornate attraction.

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Discovering the Greener Side of Florence

Looking for a breath of fresh air in a crowded city? Then look no further than Costa San Giorgio--one of those streets that look so familiar here in Florence. Starting from just behind the Ponte Vecchio, this road leads up, up, up and into the hills behind the historic city center, dropping out along the entrance to Villa Bardini & its gardens. From Villa Bardini, you can choose to follow Via Belvedere all the way up to Piazzale Michelangelo, one of Florence‘s famous panoramic city view points, or simply enjoy the quieter side of the city with a stroll through the tree-lined alleyways.

A Hidden Gem in Florence

On my first day in Florence I visited the Boboli Gardens. Created by the Medici family, the gardens are very grand and famously known as one of the earliest examples of their kind, comprising an open air museum of sculptures and antiquities. While there I met a volunteer gardener from Australia who encouraged me to visit the Bardini Gardens which she described as intimate and horticulturally diverse. The gardens share a joint ticket and adjoin each other. While much smaller in size, the Bardini Gardens offer a rare opportunity to experience seven centuries of Florence’s landscape history. Contained within are three gardens with distinct features including an English woodland with an Anglo-Chinese garden, Baroque staircase and agricultural landscape including an orchard. A terrace provides sweeping views of Florence.

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