Gardens of Florence #3: giardino Bardini, splendour in the grass

Gardens of Florence #3: giardino Bardini, splendour in the grass

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Florence reaches its climax in early April as wisteria flowers blossom at Giardino Bardini. This historic garden, built with fountains and statues in English and Baroque style, is placed on a steep hill of Oltrarno. Its open green space was made public after restoration in 2007. Best to explore it is — possibly with someone loved — at eight in the morning, when just gardeners are around. Further wonders include the Belvedere, Giardino Boboli or the hike up to Costa San Giorgio and Porta San Giorgio, before pleasantly walking down to Porta San Niccolò along the trace of the old city wall.

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Gardens of Florence #10: giardini Villa Fabbricotti and Baden Powell, between decadence and bucolic solitude

Gardens of Florence #10: giardini Villa Fabbricotti and Baden Powell, between decadence and bucolic solitude

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In this less-traveled park, not especially projected to attract tourists, on a Saturday noon you will find a couple of people lying on the benches sunbathing, reading, drinking beer or walking dogs. The fact that it looks semi-abandoned gives it an attractive decadent appearance. Formerly the Fabbricotti villa and the park belonged to the Strozzi family. In 1864 they became the property of Giuseppe Fabbricotti, who commissioned the reconstruction of the villa to Vincenzo Micheli. At present, they belong to the Municipality of Florence. The garden is made up of pines, holm oaks, palm trees, and cypresses. The decoration not coming from nature is eclectic, filled with vats, huge vases, marble and terracotta sculptures, a Pantheon-style chapel and a small tholos built with pietra serena facing a neo-Gothic tower. Just crossing a gate, we find a small garden named Baden Powell – after the founder of the Scout Movement –, which is a perfect spot for children and family. This compact sloping enclosure has ideal recreation areas for picnic, playground, and exercise.
Via Vittorio Emanuele II 64 – 50134 Florence FI

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Gardens of Florence #7: giardino delle Rose

Gardens of Florence #7: giardino delle Rose

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The giardino delle Rose is one of the most beautiful panoramic gardens of Florence. Here bloom some varieties of roses even in late autumn. Created by the architect Giuseppe Poggi in 1865, the giardino delle Rose is nowadays a sculptural park of reduced dimensions. Located on the hill of San Miniato, just below the piazzale Michelangelo, this garden holds a privileged position and stands as a perfect «green balcony» towards San Niccolò. From this place it is possible to view the whole city at a glance. The garden of the Roses has around a thousand varieties of roses and other ornamental plants, in addition to twelve sculptures by Jean-Michel Folon. Here one can sunbathe, read, take a nap, walk and contemplate other not so typical architectural sites of the city.
Giardino delle Rose – Viale Giuseppe Poggi 2 – open from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m – free entrance

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Gardens of Florence #1: giardino dei Semplici

Gardens of Florence #1: giardino dei Semplici

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The Garden of the Simples is the third oldest botanical garden in the world. It displays a rich variety of medicinal plants within its grounds and greenhouses, reaching up to nine thousand samples of Tuscan conifers, palm trees and edible plants, as well as exotic flora from different climates and countries. Today it belongs to the Museum of Natural History of the University of Florence, and is located next to the Basilica of San Marco. It was conceived in 1545 by Cosimo I de’ Medici as a space for complimentary lessons to students from the nearby medical school. Nowadays, rather than by tourists, this green space is most frequented by school groups.
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Uncommon Museums of Florence # 3: Stibbert Museum

Uncommon Museums of Florence # 3: Stibbert Museum

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Frederick Stibbert was born in Florence in 1838. He was an eccentric antique collector, of most weapons and armours. If he had lived today, any doctor would have diagnosed him Diogenes syndrome. In spite of this, being of good lineage, albeit not being aristocratic, Stibbert prepared some rooms of his house to keep his collection, which would be ended up transforming the house in a real museum. After his death, the collection and the site were donated to the city of Florence, as Maria de’ Medici shortly did before the dynasty became extinct.…

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‘The Botany of Leonardo,’ exhibition at Santa Maria Novella Museum

‘The Botany of Leonardo,’ exhibition at Santa Maria Novella Museum

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On view until December 15 at Santa Maria Novella Museum, the exhibition The Botany of Leonardo. A vision of science bridging Art and Nature’ outlines the philosophical and technological context of the time in which Leonardo da Vinci lived in order to explore his study of form and the processes of the Plant world in greater depth. Through his eyes as a “systemic” thinker, the connections between art, science and nature, as well as the relationships between different spheres of knowledge, are revealed.  The botany of Leonardo thus becomes a privileged perspective that opens up a modern discourse on scientific evolution and ecological sustainability.…

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Martina Castagnoli´s Florence

Martina Castagnoli´s Florence

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Se mi chiedi qual’è la mia città, infondo penso che forse è la cristallizzazione della mia idea di Firenze e non so neanche se davvero esiste più, ma vi ci porto lo stesso … Magari riuscirete anche voi a vedere un po’ di quell’incanto con cui la guardo io. La mia città, quando la vedi dall’alto, riesci a cingerla tutta in un abbraccio e i tetti rossi le conferiscono quell’aria rassicurante come lo sono certi oggetti del passato, che ti riportano alla tua infanzia, che quasi ti sembra di sentirne l’odore di naftalina che avevano i cassetti delle nonne.…

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«Carlo Cantini. Between realism and imagination,» photo exhibition at Villa Bardini, Florence

«Carlo Cantini. Between realism and imagination,» photo exhibition at Villa Bardini, Florence

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From the artistic to the bucolic; from fashion photography to everyday documentary snapshots, this is the artistic journey of Carlo Cantini, a contemporary Florentine photographer and one of the best Italian photographers of the 20th century. On display until March 17 at Villa Bardini, Carlo Cantini. Between Realism and Imagination exhibits seventy photographs, inspired by Berengo Gardin and Mario Giacomelli, which document some of Florence’s most significant events of the last fifty years of the past century. His photographs document Florentine streets and countryside everyday scenes. Besides that, Cantini´s work is connected to the Pitti fashion shows, theater, contemporary art, enchanted gardens and allegorical nymphs, classical nude paying tribute to sculpture, and architecture. All in all, Cantini´s œuvre is a constant search for equilibrium between realism and imagination.

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Maie Escorial´s Florence

Maie Escorial´s Florence

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It is obvious that Florence has a thousand faces, this is something that stands out as soon as you get there. It has so much historical and architectural background that if you wanted to go into detail, it would take hours round a corner. During my autumn escape from daily routine, I was carried away by the streets and wandered around with pleasure, climbing, descending and crossing them. I found out that autumn had not even begun in Florence, therefore it seems like October is the perfect time to visit the city so one can feel the end of summer, take an Aperol spritz while enjoying a relaxed atmosphere surrounded by terraces full of people.…

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Miss Tina Mars in the pet-friendly Florence

Miss Tina Mars in the pet-friendly Florence

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My name is Tina Mars. Although I am a female dog, I consider myself very human. Last week I visited Paco Neumann in Florence and that dazzled me. I felt almost as mesmerized as the Americans (that is, by the city). Let’s say Florence is not Paris, but who does actually stand the French? Also, most animals are not interested in art and culture, but I am. I had an exquisite and refined education at home. That’s why I grow so much canine anger when not allowed into the museums or the churches. We, dogs, are better educated and trained than all those tourist crowds … The leash and the muzzle, as well as the picking up of my evacuations, are compulsory when out and about, anyway. By the way, I was fascinated to see how clean Florence is! In Berlin, the sidewalks and parks are crammed with excrement, which causes me quite a lot of disgust. …

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