Why to sit behind your computer and sadly look at the beautiful pictures of the Tuscany region when you can see it in person? Amazing tourist spots such as Uffizi Gallery, Cattedrale di Santa Maria del Fiore (the dominant of Firenze – you can’t really say, whether is is more beautiful inside or outside), Piazzale Michelangelo, Palazzo Pitti (with amazing gardens behind), Palazzo Vecchio, Mercato Centrale (huge street markets), Muzeo Nazionale del Bargello, Basilica di San Lorenzo or Piazza di Santa Maria Novella are unfortunately extremly crowded, what is a really big shame…but why not to visit it from some kind of another side? Why not to visit interesting natural areas with less smog, more calm and even some picnic spots and magnifiecient views?
Villa Medicea di Castello
A visit to the gardens was a breath of fresh air after the busy streets of Florence and a wonderful introduction to the Italian Renaissance Garden design.
A bus can be caught at S. N. bus station and from the drop off point it is an easy uphill walk to the garden entrance. I was surprised that entry was free and how few visitors were evident… what a pleasure!
The villa is not open to the public but the gardens are attractive with style and formality of design being obvious from the first glimpse. The spacious layout is defined by clipped box hedges and studded with a huge number and variety of citrus trees planted in terracotta pots. Fountains and statues, gravel pathways and colourful inter-planting complete the formal section of the garden. Fully walled there are niches with grottoes and espaliered trees. Steps from the lower garden rise to an elevated woodland and balcony where one can see the full layout of the garden below and views across the city.
If you enjoy a little peace and quiet and are looking for an introduction to Italian garden design the gardens are well worth a visit.
The garden is only open for a limited time period during the spring when the irises are in bloom. It is reached from Piazzale Michelangelo (there is a small sign at the far end). You take stairs downwards into the garden.
I was there early in the blooming season – for people who like gardens, the irises are so lovely. The garden itself has winding paths that roam in and out of the iris beds.
If you are there at the right time – I highly recommend it for a break from the masses of tourists at Piazzale Michelangelo.
The Iris garden is wonderful but it is restricted by the life of the Iris. The Florentine Giglio is the symbol of the City and this is much loved but it needs to be seen in the earlier part of the month of May when the flowers are beginning to bloom – towards the end of the month these always ragged flowers are also somewhat bedraggled – but it is still worth a visit – not only for the colourful flowers but for the great view that they enjoy over the City of Florence!
You need to trek a bit to find the entrance to the gardens, but worth it once there. Quite extensive, and a fair bit of climbing up to the best views, but worth a visit when the museums get too much.
Ticket costs 7 euros just for the gardens and you don’t have to go to the palace. It is very steep if you want to get the full value of the gardens and the stunning views of the city. You can spend easily 3 hours here or more, there was even a local brass band playing which added to the experience, a must for a change from the crowds and museum.
This is an incredible place to escape from the crowded city. It is so quiet and peaceful. Don’t miss it in spring as the wisteria vine is just gorgeous. Loved it!
Folon e il Giardino delle Rose
When visiting Piazzale Michelangelo its worth taking time to pop into this tranquil Rose garden. Well laid out of several levels of the hill you can enter at the top entrance on Viale Guiseppi Poggi and exit through a small door in the brick wall onto Via del Monte alle Croci.
Its open all year round from 9.00am till sunset and as well as over 200 different rose variations it has some interesting sculptures from a local artist. Beautiful spot for a walk amongst florals and chirping birds.
When you go (and you have to, for real) to Florence, here you can see the most beautiful sunset over the city, so take some minutes to visit this public garden and take pictures of the stunning views.