florence

The Bardini Gardens by Marco Secchi

The most famous park in Florence is undoubtedly the Boboli Gardens, but a true paradise hidden from the eyes of most, and often misunderstood even by the Florentines, is the Bardini Gardens. On the steep bank of the left bank of the Arno, as early as the 13th century, the Hubs, rich bankers, had behind their palace the hortus conclusus, and in the rear part and higher terraces for agricultural use. From the seventeenth, but definitely in the nineteenth century, the slope, which rises steeply up to the San Giorgio gate, acquires the character it has today becoming a garden pertinent to the Villa now Bardini. There are numerous changes of ownership and transformations, in an English garden, in Anglo-Chinese and then romantic.

However, the definitive destiny is decided by the volcanic antiquarian Stefano Bardini's purchase in 1913. He makes the garden a spectacular open-air showroom and places a loggia at the top from which an excellent panorama can be enjoyed. Bardini's customers, after visiting the halls of his antique house, remained captivated by the magic of the place and became more compliant to his proposals. Bardini garden roses The garden has many attractions throughout the year. In winter when nature hides its most evident beauties from our eyes, the Bardini Garden becomes a place where you can admire a forest of holm oaks, evergreen trees, the so-called English forest crossed by the Dragon canal.

The silence and the quiet will make you feel far from the city, which at the same time you will see near and beautiful in the views that open from the terrace of the villa and from several other panoramic points.

An exceptional panorama

The view from the Bardini Garden is without statues Bardinidubbio garden one of the most beautiful, to your view the modern part of Florence is precluded, and it seems to make a journey into the past admiring only that part of the city that was enclosed in the ancient walls. Walking through the garden you will find artistically arranged statues that will lead you into the world of Arcadia, and you will return to a world of gentle peasants and damsels similar to nymphs, and in which Bacchus and Ceres cheer up each other with reciprocal gifts. Caves, niches, sculptures are arranged along the avenues, on the terraces and decorate among other things the spectacular Baroque staircase.

And these views that make the visit of winter unforgettable, are enriched with the arrival of the spring of the beauty of the garden, the flowers. The Bardini Garden promises you a prolonged and varied calendar of flowers.

The blooms

Beginning in March, April blooms at the bardinicon with camellias, fruit trees and viburnum, which bloom until July. From April to May the Judas tree covers its cyclamen-red flowers and in the upper part of the garden in March they give us the beauty of their intense flowers and perfumed camellias. Immediately in April the azaleas begin to bloom, of which there is also a wide variety, with their pink, red and white flowers. Certainly spring is the time of greatest rejoicing, from March to April bulbous plants follow, then irises in May, which continue to give us their blooms in the different varieties between June and August and even in November. The flowering of the wisteria, which starts in mid-April and lasts until mid-May, is exceptional and theatrical. In the Bardini garden you pass under a pergola of wisteria hanging to form a roof of flowers on our head. Hydrangeas are waiting for us from May to July under the circle of wisteria, there are about sixty varieties. And how to forget the roses, the queens of all the gardens, of which there are some hanging, planted to form espaliers, or bushy, and which from June to September will accompany us with their perfume and their precious beauty.

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If in the spring the walks in the Bardini gardens will fill our eyes with the variety of the colors of the flowers, during the summer you will find in the Garden not only the possibility of escaping the mass of tourists, who crowd the streets of the center, but also the coolness in the shade of the trees and under the panoramic loggia, where a cafeteria is placed.

Anyone wishing to enter the Bardini Garden can do so after visiting the Boboli Gardens by showing the same ticket. The visit is also possible separately and access is either from the Villa Bardini on the Costa San Giorgio or from the Via dei Bardi.

TOP 10 Things to do in Florence by Marco Secchi


Duomo/Baptistry/Bell Tower

Commonly known as, “The Duomo”, Cattedrale de Santa Maria del Fiore is impossible to miss.

It is the skyline of Florence. Building began on the huge Gothic duomo in 1296 and it was consecrated in 1436.

- The Duomo

Inside Brunelleschi’s Dome you will find one of the most breathtaking pieces of art you will ever see.

It is well worth the stairs you will climb to walk around the inner walls to see the paintings up close and to see an amazing view of the city from the outside.


- The Campanile, bell tower, is in Piazza del Duomo.

You can climb the 414 stairs to get an incredible view, but if you are choosing between climbing the duomo and the tower, go with the dome.

- The Baptistery is from the 11th century and one of the oldest buildings in Florence.

Here you will find Ghiberti’s famous bronze doors, the “Gates of Paradise” (they are reproductions, the originals are in the Duomo Museum).

- Uffizi Gallery

The Galleria degli Uffizi holds the world’s most important collection of Renaissance art.

It is essential to buy reservation tickets before going to avoid the long line. Trust us, the line can be hours, as they only allow so many people in the museum at one time.

Your reservation is not a ticket, just a pass to get in the much shorter line to enter.

In the museum you will see works from Michelangelo, Giotto, Botticelli, da Vinci, and Raphael.


- Accademia Gallery

Florence’s Galleria dell’ Academia, holds Michelangelo’s David, easily the most famous sculpture in the world.

One of the best parts of this museum is the collection of musical instruments. It is also quite advisable to get reservations for this museum.

- Boboli Garden

On the other side of the Arno River, you will find Giardino di Boboli, a beautiful and sprawling English style garden on a hillside behind the Pitti Palace.

It is a lovely place to slow down and enjoy the greener side of Florence.

- Palazzo Pitti

Palazzo Pitti, Pitti Palace, is Florence’s largest palazzo, once owned by the Medici family. You can visit 8 different galleries in the palace.

Be prepared, it is massive and can wear you out quickly.

- Piazza della Signoria

Piazza della Signoria, the historic and political center of the city, is just off of the River Arno and next to the Uffizi Gallery.

Here, you will find statues including the Fountain of Neptune and a replica of the Statue of David.

- La Basilica di Santa Croce

Protected by an imposing statue of Dante, it sits with its beautiful facade in front of a modest piazza.

The Santa Croce was built for the common citizens of Florence, just a 15-minute walk from the Duomo.

The church houses tombs of the likes of Michelangelo, Galileo, Machiavelli, Foscolo, Gentile, Rossini and the empty tomb of Dante.

For this reason, the Santa Croce is also known as the Temple of the Italian Glories (Tempio dell’Itale Glorie).

Florence keeps the empty tomb of Dante in hopes that one day it shall be filled with his decayed remains. They are currently housed in the city of Ravenna, his final resting place, after being exiled from Florence.

- Piazzale Michelangelo

It is a must to see the sun setting over the city from Piazzale Michelangelo!

This is, by far, the most famous view overlooking the city and has been reproduced on countless postcards and photographs. You will also find a bronze replica of David that is thought to be safeguarding the city.

You can either take the hike up to the top, take the bus, or hire a cab.

If you choose to walk to the Piazzale, make sure you wander through the Oltrarno, the neighborhood on the other side of the Arno river from the duomo, which is all too often overlooked.

At the very least, try to walk down after the sun sets.

- The Ponte Vecchio

The Ponte Vecchio was Florence’s first bridge to cross the Arno River and is the only surviving bridge from Florence’s medieval days.

Lined with shops selling gold and silver jewelry, you’ll have a great view of the city along the Arno River.

This bridge is a true landmark of the city of Florence.

At night, it can be quite romantic to take in a local musician busking at the center of the bridge, while gazing upon the city lighting up the river.


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- The Bargello

The Bargello is the national sculpture museum, located in Florence.

The castle-like building was built in 1255–1350 as the original seat of government. It contains the greatest collection of Renaissance sculpture in Florence and is one of the best collections in Italy.

What you must see here is the huge room filled with Donatello’s masterpieces.

Where to eat and drink in Florence by Marco Secchi

My favourite places where to eat in Florence by Michela Goretti

 

I' Girone De' Ghiotti €

Crush delicious, stuffed with typical Tuscan ingredients; despite being small, the restaurant offers seats, not many, but there are! Unbeatable prices for quality:

2 crushed (that are enough and advance) 1 bottled beer, 1/2 water € 14.50 ... less than in a very bad fast-food, and we are

in the historical center!

Via dei Cimatori 23/Rosso, 50122, Firenze, Italia   +39 055 532 6053


Senz’altro Bistrot  € 

Young and smart guys! They take care of every dish in the smallest details; curious combinations and refined taste.

Small, intimate and welcoming place. Located in a long street full of life and passage, easy to reach both by public transport and private transport (there is a nice parking at the beginning of the pedestrian zone).

Highly recommended.

-Borgo la Croce 21/r, 50121, Firenze, Italia      +39 055 24382


Ditta Artigianale €

Ditta Artigianale selects individual origins from all over the world,

traveling to the constant search for the best products

and ethical to bring to the customer,

enhancing every single passage of the grain journey,

from the plantation to the cup.

Via dei Neri 32r Firenze Italia  +30 055 274 1541


Mercato Centrale €€

For those who love street food will find an oasis gurmet in the heart of the city.

12 shops of some of the best Italian artisans, Tuscan restaurant, Chianti wine shop, pizza osai, street food

Primo piano Piazza del Mercato Centrale Firenze Italia   055 2399798


Gurdulu  €€€

A bit like a Londoner and a Parisian, Gurdulù is all Florentine: in the neighborhood of Santo Spirito comes a unique but common place, familiar but unusual, real and at the same time fantastic. Pure State, Tradition and Territory, Today at the Market, Classic Snacks, Desserts and Seasons: this is the menu that offers the restaurant and that periodically changes respecting the seasons.

Via delle Caldaie 12 R Firenze Italia   +39 055 282223


Ora D’Aria  €€€

The environment is essential and elegant, with attention to details that express a delicate and never ostentatious luxury Ora d'Aria perfectly reflects the philosophy of the chef who promotes a kitchen made of quality and transparency, the same that are found in every place of the restaurant, starting from the kitchen, overlooking the street and the hall, that of the local and who he deals with it defines the essence.

Via dei Georgofili 11R - 50122 Firenze Italia    +39 055 200 16 99


Winter Garden by Caino €€€

In an elegant setting of a sophisticated winter garden nested in The St. Regis Florence, the collaboration in the kitchen between epicurean masters Chef Gentian Shehi and 2 Michelin Star Chef Valeria Piccini sets new heights of a refined restaurant experience in Florence, bringing together the culinary tradition of Tuscany and bespoke service in the heart of Florence

Piazza Ognissanti, 1 Florence  Italia  +3905527163770


La bottega del buon Caffè €€€

Authenticity and honesty are at the heart of each dish we create at La Bottega del Buon Caffè .

Respecting our Florentine Location the seasonal menus are designed to reflect the region's unique gastronomic heritage and vibrant culinary culture. Artisan butchers supply the kitchen with exceptional cuts of locally-reared meats whilst the very freshest fish are delivered from the Mediterranean.

Borgo Santo Pietro in the CityLa Bottega del Buon CaffèIl LoungeL'Enoteca
Lungarno Benvenuto Cellini, 69/r - Firenze, Italy • Tel. +39 055 55 35 677

Relais Borgo Santo Pietro Srl • P.IVA/CF: 0144 0680 526



Il Palagio  €€€

In an original and authentic atmosphere, elegant but not strictly formal, Il Palagio offers a culinary experience and one of the most unforgettable settings in Florence.

Loved by both tourists and locals alike, Il Palagio is one of the most popular restaurants in Florence for its traditional Italian and regional cuisine enriched by a touch of modernity.

Borgo Pinti, 99, 50121 Firenze  +39 (055) 2626 450


Enoteca Pinchiorri  €€€€

The kitchen is a laboratory where ideas take shape, the best ingredients are combined in the search for innovation but always in the name of local and territorial tradition.

Via Ghibellina, 87,Firenze FI  055 242757