Mostly thanks to the ancient Medici House, Florence and its surroundings are very rich in villas and gardens. Created in the 15th Century as spiritual places, areas dedicated to meditation and philosophical speculation, during the 16th Century they became places for entertainment representing the power of the Grand Duke through the realisation of complex sceneries of green and water, made possible by the refined knowledge of architecture and hydraulics. Some of them came to us still intact, other were renovated during the 18th and 19th Century and transformed into Romantic parks here are the most famous ones, those you cannot miss, located both within the city and on the nearby hills. Of course, if you want to visit all of them it will take you at least a whole week! Also, if you want to visit some of the nurseries in the area you can have a look at the two itineraries Wandering nurseries: Florence and its surroundings/1 and Wandering nurseries by bike: Florence and its surroundings/2.
Giardino di Boboli, known as the Italian Versailles, it is a spectacular Italian garden in the heart of Florence just behind Palazzo Pitti.
Florence botanical garden, is one of three most ancient in the world, together with Pisa and Padua. It hosts 9000 specimens.
Gherardesca Garden, a big private garden in the historic centre of Florence.
Giardino di Palazzo Grifoni Budini Gattai, Florence: a small romantic garden; you access it through a majestic loggia.
Giardino Torrigiani, Florence: hidden in the heart of the city, it extends over 7 hectares of English romantic park, very rich in trees and plants coming from all over the world.
Giardino Bardini, Florence: in the Oltrarno area, it is made up of 4 hectares of wood, spiritual garden and orchard, in contact with the walls of the city.
Giardino degli Iris, in piazzale Michelangiolo: it opens only from the end of April to the end of May. It has marvellous flowerings of irises.
Villa Medici, Fiesole (Florence): an Early-Renaissance villa with a beautiful terraced garden renovated from 1911 to 1923 by architect Cecil Pinset.
Villa i Tatti, Fiesole (Florence): today it hosts The Harvard University Center for Italian Renaissance Studies and has a big perfectly preserved Italian garden, a hanging garden and lines boulevards leading to the open countryside.
Villa Le Balze, Fiesole (Florence): a Neo-Renaissance villa with a monumental garden made up of a sequence of green rooms.
Villa Capponi, ad Arcetri (Florence): a marvellous Italian terraced garden
Giardino di Villa Gamberaia, a Settignano (Florence): it is an amazing 18th Century garden renovated at the beginning of the 20th Century. It is perfectly geometric and overlooks Florence.
Villa Corsini a Castello (Florence): this 15th Century villa has a very big garden including and Italian parterre and a wooded area.
Villa Medicea a Castello (Florence): this villa dates back to the 14th Century and has a big Italian terraced garden.
Villa La Petraia, located on the hillside of Castello (Florence), it is one of the most beautiful Medici villa. It is surrounded by formal garden whereas on the back there is a great English park.