Discovering green Florence

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When sultry weather arrives, it is time to escape the hectic city and enjoy refreshing, cool surroundings, and peaceful activities. This is why, if you find yourself in Florence during the summer months, we suggest some of the city’s most remarkable green spots.

To begin, one cannot see Florence without taking a stroll through the Boboli Gardens. Near the center of Florence and behind the Pitti Palace, they are a spectacle for all the senses: fountains, varied flora, statutes, and even a museum. These are some of the first and most well-known formal 16th century Italian gardens, commissioned by Cosimo I de’ Medici for his wife.

 Nearby, the Rose Garden-Giardino delle Rose-is another treasure in the Oltrarno neighborhood of Florence.  Less known, but highly original, it is located under Piazzale Michelangelo, with impressive panoramic views of Florence: The City commissioned Architect Giuseppe Poggi to design the garden in 1865.  Poggi’s inspiration drew upon informal French gardens, giving it a more natural and rustic feeling.

 Be on the lookout for more than 350 types of roses and the Japanese Shorai Oasis, which was a gift to the city from Kyoto, Japan-a sister city.

 Another unique attribute of this garden is the donated art collection of the French artist Jean Michel Folon. The collection was donated by the sculptor’s wife after his death to ensure that he was always associated with Florence. There are 10 bronze sculptures on permanent display: a small but welcoming oasis of flowers in a dreamlike location.

 If you are looking for non-typical gardens, the park at Museo Stibbert will surely satisfy your wishes. The museum is known for its 57 rooms filled with over 50,000 artifacts (armory, antiques, costumes, paintings, tapestries, glass objects) of the late Frederick Stibbert from the 1800s.  His life’s work became a labor of love dedicated to transforming his villa into a museum for Florence-and the landscape into a serene English-style garden. The garden is filled with curious objects and historical references: a small temple with a colorful ceramic dome, ponds, wild vegetation, an elegant “limonaia” and even a neo-Egyptian temple floating in the midst of a pond. A recommended and picturesque experience.

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