Top gardens of Italy

Top gardens of Italy

In this country’s hot and arid Mediterranean climate, the best times of year to visit Italian gardens are actually the spring and fall. It is during the cooler, damper months that these gardens, many of which could be considered works of art, reach the height of their lushness and color. Here is a list of top Italian gardens.

Torrigiani Gardens

Hidden in the midst of the noble palaces, the largest privately owned garden within a European city welcomes visitors by appointment. The Giardini Torrigiani began as a much smaller private botanical garden in the 1500s. In the early 1800s, heirs to the estate began expanding the grounds, transforming them eventually into a 25 acre English park. Today the park is still known for its vast botanical species, and as simply a wonderful respite from the crowded city streets.


Location: Via de’ Serragli, 146, Florence

Nearby sights: Piazzale Michelangelo, Piazza del Duomo, Uffizi Gallery

Nearby hotels: Hotel Degli Orafi, Palazzo Magnani Feroni, Pitti Palace al Ponte Vecchio

Boboli Gardens

Perhaps the most recognized gardens in Italy, the Boboli gardens are entered through Pitti Palace and retain their original 16th century Italianate style. Dotted with statuary and fountains, divided into sweeping public and intimate semi-private spaces, accented with grottos, nymphea, pavilions, and temples, this lavish outdoor museum was a private garden for the Medici family and closed to the public for centuries. Visitors can see art and architecture by the hand of masters including Vasari, Michelangelo (copies; the originals are now kept indoors), Buontalenti, and Lorenzi.


Location: Piazza de’ Pitti, 50125, Florence

Nearby sights: Piazzale Michelangelo, Piazza del Duomo, Uffizi Gallery

Tel.: +39 055265 1838

Nearby hotels: Hotel Berchielli, Ponte Vecchio Suites & SPA, Hotel Desiree

Top gardens of ItalyBardini Gardens

The origins of this garden date from the 1500s. The current Bardini Gardens is the work of Giulio Mozzi, who created a Baroque staircase up the terraced park (from the top of which there is a wide view over Florence) lined with statues, and a long mosaic fountain wall. In the mid-1800s, the estate was expanded, though later left in a state of abandon until the year 2000, when it was acquired by a foundation, restored, and opened to the public in 2005.


Location: Costa San Giorgio, 2, Florence

Nearby sights: Piazzale Michelangelo, Piazza del Duomo, Uffizi Gallery

Tel.: 055-20066206

Nearby hotels: Hotel Degli Orafi, Hotel Europa, The Style Florence

The Gardens of Castel Gandolfo

Being the Pope’s official summer residence outside of Rome, the Gardens have been opened to the public for the first time in their long history by Pope Francis. The gardens open their gates each Saturday morning at 10:30 for a 90-minute guided tour (reservations through the Vatican Museums website), and visitors can see the Villa Barberini section of the estate, including the Giardino della Madonnina, the scenic balcony over the Giardino del Belvedere, and the ruins of Roman Emperor Domitian’s villa, which once stood on this spot.


Location: Strada Provinciale 71/b / Via Carlo Rosselli, davanti al Piazzale Urbano VIII, 00073 Castel Gandolfo

Nearby sights: Pontifical Villas of Castel Gandolfo, Bordo Lago – Area PicNic, Palazzo Pontificio

Tel.: 390669883145

Nearby hotels: Hotel Stendhal, Hotel Terminus, Hotel Cinecitta

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