Florence is a wonderful city full of beautiful architecture and interesting sites. However, it is rather lacking in green space to relax and escape the centre. Here are a few of my favourite places to find some peace amongst the hubbub of city life:
The Boboli Gardens
The Boboli Gardens are easily the most famous gardens in the city, hidden behind the Pitti Palace and spanning 11 acres. In the 16th century, these gardens were built for Eleonora di Toledo, the wife of Cosimo I de’ Medici. As you walk around these vast gardens, you can almost imagine the young Medici children playing hide and seek through the allées and amongst the trees. Be sure to check out Buonatalenti’s Grotto, and the famous Fountain of Neptune. Tickets are 7€. The Boboli Gardens are also often home to many seasonal exhibitions. When there is an exhibition being held, tickets are 10€.
The Rose Garden
On the walk up towards Piazzale Michelangelo (a must-see for all visitors!), stop off at The Rose Garden. It’s free which is a bonus, and is less crowded than some of the other gardens. It is a perfect place to sit and enjoy the sun while being away from the centre of the city. If you close your eyes you can *almost* imagine you are in the Tuscan countryside! The best time to visit is in May when all the roses are in bloom, but any time of year you can find people sitting and enjoying the peace and quiet.
The Bardini Gardens
My favourite gardens in Florence by far are the Bardini Gardens. Situated up the hill in Oltrarno, these gardens are lesser known but offer – in my opinion – the most beautiful views of the city. Opened to the public only recently, the Bardini Gardens are the privately owned gardens of Villa Bardini. Stroll through the gardens and walk up a baroque flight of stairs up to the terrace overlooking the city. At the top of the garden is a corridor of wisteria which is breathtaking (and the perfect backdrop for a photo or two!) The best time to visit the gardens is in April when the wisteria is in full bloom. A handy tip about these gardens is that they are actually cheaper than the Boboli Gardens (3.50€) and also give visitors access to the Boboli Gardens too, through Costa di San Giorgio!