Nature of Italy: Gardens and greeneries around Florence

By Delia Binetti

Florence doesn't need to feel like exploring just another Renaissance city in Europe. If you're looking for a place to enjoy some quiet and surrounded by nature while studying abroad, here are a few green spots in and around the city to make you stop and smell the roses.

Bardini Gardens

One of Florence’s main attractions and frequently visited nature areas is the famous Bardini Gardens. Located on the other side of the Arno, right across the Alle Grazie bridge, you will find one of the several entrances to these beautiful and angelic gardens full of blooming flowers and vegetation. Initially known as the Florentine Baroque Garden during the 16th and 17th centuries, the Bardini Gardens still hold true to what can be visited. Stunning statues, fountains, and smaller buildings can be found throughout the gardens along with a breathtaking view of the city which can be found at the top. Although the area is beautiful any time of the year, visiting during the spring months, especially April, is an ideal time to go and experience the blooming wisteria that covers many areas of the beaten paths.

Giardino Martin Lutero

Giardino Martin Lutero, or Martin Lutero Garden, is also along the water and on the other side of the Arno, facing toward the Duomo and its beautiful surrounding architecture. This garden is one of the few places in the city where you can find a patch of grass or a bench to sit on that isn’t surrounded by buildings. Although the area is quite small, it makes the setting and the environment much more intimate and relaxed due to less people overcrowding the area. For locals, it is an area that is usually used for socializing, walking their dogs, or even just reading a book. What is also eye-catching about Giardino Martin Lutero is the beautiful orange church situated right in the corner of the grassy area. Sometimes you may find yourself at the exact moment when the bells are ringing.

Area Cani Pando

Right near the center of Florence, located Lugarno, or alongside the Arno, you will find a strip of grass that overlooks the fast-streaming river. Cani Pando, technically considered as a dog park, is known as one of the popular areas where younger crowds come to relax and enjoy themselves. Frequently you will see people throwing a frisbee out on the field, reading, or even just soaking in the sun while watching the crew boats pass by along the river. This area is tucked right under the center, and its seclusion makes you feel detached from the fast-moving pace of the city. As summer approaches, this area quickly becomes a local hotspot in the evening, where family and friends meet up for a quick aperitivo or dinner at a nearby restaurant. If you're a dog lover, there's no better place to meet and pet furry friends.


Area Pettini

If you ever need a break from the city center to find some greenery, Area Pettini is the park to visit. Located in the neighborhood of Le Cure, this popular park is used primarily by the Florentine citizens who live in the nearby area as a place to relax in the thick grassy fields, get a coffee at a nearby cafe, or play a variety of recreational sports. Normally on the weekends, you will see plenty of families spending their day having a picnic and enjoying their break before the next work week begins. At night, the park becomes a hotspot for younger locals to gather for an aperitivo and socialize with friends. This spot is a great place to visit if you are looking to explore the “not so touristy” areas of Florence, it is easily accessible by bus or even walking distance from the city center.

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