Florence is famous for its art, architecture, and museums, yet its elaborate and expertly tended parks and gardens are also well worth exploring. From palace grounds to public green spaces, here’s where to find verdant tranquility in the busy city.
Set on 11 acres (4.45 hectares, Boboli is the largest garden in Florence and widely considered to be one of the finest royal gardens in all of Europe. It is located at the Pitti Palace—former home of the Medici family—and is full of blossoming green space, impressive fountains, and fine Italian sculptures.
How to Visit: Choose a design- and storytelling-focused tour or one best suited for families with kids. Both explain the history of the palace and the Medici family, and provide details of the varied plants. The Boboli Gardens are also part of private or small-group tours of Florence’s gardens.
Bardini is lesser known but no less spectacular than the larger Boboli Gardens. Located in the hilly Oltrarno neighborhood, Bardini offers visitors a wonderful view of the city as well as a baroque staircase, an enchanting wisteria tunnel, and Italian Renaissance landscape design.
How to Visit: Bardini Garden and the Villa Bardini are both visited on tours of Florence’s gardens. Choose a private tour or a small-group tour.
Cascine is the largest public park in Florence, with 395 acres (160 hectares) laced with popular walking and cycling paths. Located on the banks of the Arno River, it was once the Medici family’s property, and was used for hunting and farming.
How to Visit: Pedal through Cascine Park—and Renai Park as well—on a cycling tour of Florence’s green spaces. Tours include a mountain bike and helmet.
Located on a hill overlooking the city, Florence’s Rose Garden is open year-round but is most stunning during the month of May, when all the flowers—including 400 varieties of rose—are in bloom.
How to Visit: You can visit the Rose Garden, located just below the Piazzale Michelangelo, on your own or as part of an art tour that also visits the San Miniato al Monte.