An Enchanted Garden

Four hectares of woodland with a vegetable garden and a fruit orchard beneath the city’s medieval walls: nature unsurpassed

A story of natural beauty. Its splendid, panoramic position overlooking Florence between Costa San Giorgio and Borgo San Niccolò preserves a setting of pristine beauty in the heart of the city.

A vast and delightful Garden which, despite being set on a fairly steep slope, is easy for carriages to reach via a convenient and very lovely road…

That description of the Garden in a late 19th century guide to Florence is still valid today: a garden offering a unique view of Florence and occupying a large part of a hill bounded by the city’s medieval walls.

The Giardino Bardini embodies seven centuries of both Florentine and gardening history, of innovation and change in botany and in fashions. In the 16th and 17th centuries it was a Florentine Baroque garden with grottoes, statues, fountains, flower gardens and copses of holm oak. In the 19th century it witnessed the transition from Le Blanc’s Anglo-Chinese garden to the Victorian garden with the princely Carolath von Beuthen family’s rosebush borders and raised flowerbeds, camelias and peonies.

Stefano Bardini, the “prince of antique dealers” who bought the property in 1913, added decorative elements, Baroque statuary, garden furniture of varied provenance, fountains, benches and vases, reflecting his collecting interests that stretched from the ancient world and the Middle Ages to the Renaissance and the Baroque.

The Garden, which Bardini called “the three gardens”, combines three areas that differ in era and style:

  • the Italian garden, with its magnificent Baroque staircase;
  • the English wood, a rare example of an Anglo-Chinese garden with its exotic plants;
  • the agricultural park with its new fruit orchard and its magnificent wisteria pergola.

The Garden currently houses some two hundred pieces of sculpture, thirteen fountains, three grottoes, a superb “fountain wall” and a botanical collection chiefly made up of centuries-old trees such as holm oaks and phyllireas, olive trees, a vast number of hortensias, roses, camelias, azaleas and, of course, the splendid wisteria pergola.

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