The Brunelleschi Dome, Giotto’s bell tower, the tower of Palazzo Vecchio, Santa Croce and the Florentine hills are part of the extraordinary panorama offered by the belvedere of Villa Bardini, the historic home of the prince of Florentine antique dealers surrounded by centuries-old holm oaks and clouds of flowers.
Between April and May, time of the extraordinary spring blooms of the Florentine gardens, there is a place in the city that becomes the protagonist of extraordinary shots immortalizing a romantic and dreamy Florence. Let’s talk about Villa Bardini and its garden, part of the “European Garden Heritage Network”, the selection of the most beautiful parks to visit in Europe, and its incredible wisteria in bloom framing one of the most beautiful views of the city.
Restored to its former glory in 2006 thanks to the intervention of the Bardini and Peyron Monumental Parks Foundation and the CR Firenze Foundation, Villa Bardini is today one of the unmissable destinations during a stay in the city. An oasis of peace in the greenery where you can stroll, rest in the shade of the centuries-old holm oaks or take a romantic panoramic aperitif in the loggia with a view of the Brunelleschi dome.
The most beautiful view of Florence framed by an extraordinary wisteria in bloom
The Villa, located in the San Nicolò district, was built in the first half of the seventeenth century to a design by the architect Gherardo Silvani. In the nineteenth century the park was transformed into an English garden with woods, fountains and paths and the first Anglo-Chinese garden in Italy, until the purchase by Stefano Bardini also known as the “prince of Florentine antique dealers” at the end of the nineteenth century. Bardini made numerous customizations, also building an avenue to reach the villa. After the death of his son Ugo, his only heir, the villa and its magnificent park became an uncultivated and abandoned wood, visible even from the Lungarno.
Today, entering Villa Bardini is like walking through centuries of history, and this idea has also guided the restoration of the green spaces, recovering some historical themes and introducing new ones such as the green theater or the famous wisteria tunnel with an imposing staircase, which from the belvedere it descends to the flower garden through a drop of more than 100 meters, among mosaics and fountains by Giulio Mozzi.
Stefano Bardini, in a letter of the time, described the garden of the villa dividing it into three parts: an agricultural park, which today houses a beautiful orchard with traditional Tuscan varieties, an English-style wood, where the lemon house and greenhouse are located, and a Baroque staircase, recovered and embellished with boxwood walls and contemporary floral varieties. Among these there are also 60 varieties of hydrangeas, certainly the largest collection in the city.
Every year, a themed contest is launched on Villa Bardini’s Instagram page that sees its iconic wisteria as the protagonist and which involves enthusiasts from all over the world ready to take the best photo to see it then published right on the official page. Here it is also possible to stay updated on the many artistic and cultural events that animate the Villa, the Roberto Capucci Museum and the Annigoni Museum, always inside.
Inside the property there is also a restaurant and a charming panoramic café right on the belvedere.
A prominent figure of the Florentine nineteenth century, collector and art lover, Stefano Bardini left a huge legacy to the city. It seems that his immense fortune began with the sale of a 16th century Persian carpet, now known as the “Boston Hunting Carpet”, resold for a very high price for those years.
Open every day from 10 to 19 (last admission at 18, closed every first and last Monday of the month)
Full price: 10 euro
Reduced: 5 euro