We are now in the middle of spring, and the weather in Florence is getting warmer and warmer. Sure, there are days when it’s still windy, but starting from the last days of April, chilling in a flowery park is what you want to do. Especially when you have been visiting the city center all day long.
Florence has many options when it comes to parks and gardens. For instance, If you would like to visit a place that best represents Medici family power and the elegance of Italian 16th-century parks, you can stroll through the Boboli Gardens, where you’ll find artificial grottos, beautiful sculptures, and fountains, like the Neptune fountain and the Buontalenti grotto. Or else, if you are sporty, you can go jogging at Cascine Park.
Wait, are you a tourist or traveler staying in the city for one day? Then, you should sit and find a spot to enjoy Florence city center aerial view. The best place to do it, you ask? Giardino delle Rose.
Why choose Giardino delle Rose
The first reason we suggest this garden is that it’s completely free. This means you need no ticket to visit it. Plus, it’s open to the public every day from 9 a.m. till sunset (the only closing days are Christmas and New Year’s Eve).
As mentioned above, Giardino delle Rose guarantees visitors one of the best aerial views of Florence city center. The garden is located just below Piazzale Michelangelo, the monumental square they built in the late 19th century when Florence was the capital of Italy. Like Piazzale Michelangelo, the garden lies on San Miniato’s hill, so there are no buildings that may obscure the view of your favorite buildings. Brunelleschi’s Dome, Santa Croce’s church, Ponte Vecchio…from this vantage point, you can see them all!
Giardino delle rose, between ancient botanical species, sculptures, and zen oasis
The Ancient Roses
You may wonder: is there something else to enjoy besides the view? Of course there is! This little piece of Florence, in fact, hosts one thousand species of roses (no pun intended). Some are pretty recent, but roses with a long history are also grown here. 350 types, in particular, were already cultivated in the 15th century. And if this is not enough to impress you, consider that this garden even has a rose dedicated to William Shakespeare. Finally, here you can find lemons and dozens of other botanic species. Our suggestion for making the most of the garden? Visit it during April, May, or June, when this kind of flower blooms.
At Giardino delle Rose, there are sculptures too. 12, to be more specific. They are all creations by Jean-Michel Folon, a Belgian sculptor who fell in love with Florence and this garden. In 2005, Florence held the largest Folon exhibition ever. Then, a few years after the sculptor’s death, the Folon Foundation donated these pieces to the city, and they have been a part of the garden ever since. Some sculptures catch the attention of visitors more than others.
Among the works of art by Folon people prefer there are:
- Partir, an enormous bronze suitcase located on one of the garden terraces. The sculpture frames Brunelleschi’s Dome and Palazzo Vecchio and aims to suggest that people take the best of each trip with them.
- Je me souviens
It’s a bronze sculpture representing a man sitting on a bench admiring the panorama. As soon as you encounter this work, you’ll suddenly want to sit next to it and take your time while you enjoy the view.
A bronze sculpture representing a man staring at the sky. It is a melancholy work: looking at it, in fact, you get the feeling that the man portrayed would like to fly in the sky, as if men were originally birds.
The Zen Oasis
The fun facts about this garden are not over yet. Because the Rose Garden is also home to a Shorai oasis built in 1998 to celebrate the twinning between Florence and Kyoto. More precisely, it was the Zen temple Kodai-Ji that donated this green corner to the city. The Zen oasis was built by architect Yasuo Kitayama, and the materials used were imported directly from Japan. In the center is a pine tree, symbolizing happiness and balance. And a platform for the tea ceremony was added in 2012.
Did you enjoy this post? Then stay tuned, because we will publish more articles about Florence gardens in the future!