Opening hours: November-February: 8,15AM-4,30PM; March: 8,15AM-5,30PM; April, May, September, October: 8,15AM-6,30PM; June-August: 8,15AM-7,30PM. Closed on the first and last Monday in the month.
Admission ticket: Euro 6. It si valid for 3 days and includes entrance to Museum of Porcelains, Costume Gallery, Museum of Silver and Gardens of Boboli.
The Bardini Garden is located on the hill right behind Palazzo Mozzi; it has been recently restored and reopened for visits.
From its terrace we can see a wonderful panorama of Florence.
The Garden is located on the Montecuccoli hill, which belonged to the Mozzi family since 12th Century. In 1259 a «market-garden» right behind Palazzo Mozzi is referred to in written records, and at the sime time terraces with vineyards existed in the upper part of the garden.
Both palazzo and hill remained to the Mozzi family until 1880; the garden was enlarged during the time, when the Mozzis purchased a vast ground which now is the eastern part of the garden: a small villa, Villa Manadora, is located there. It was built around 1650 by architect Gherardo Silvani for the nobleman Francesco Manadori. The park surrounding this villa was transformed to an english garden in early 19th Century, with the building of lanes, fountains and a Kaffeehaus with a grotto closely resembling the one built in the baroque part of the garden owned by the Mozzis; the two parts of the garden still have a very different appearance, since their structure was never modified.
During 19th Century the garden was neglected; in 1880 Carolath Benten family purchased palace and garden but did not restore them.
Click to enlarge pictures.
In 1913 Florentine antiquarian Stefano Bardini bought the whole garden and the palace: he restored and further decorated the garden, but demolished the mediaeval terraces which survived until then; he also enlarged the buildings on the side towards Costa San Giorgio. After the death of Stefano's son Ugo (1965) - and after 30 years of intricated bureaucratic disputes - the garden became property of the City of Florence.
The garden was in a very poor state: it underwent an extensive restoration in the years 2000 to 2005 and was named «Giardino Bardini» after Stefano Bardini. The garden has been now opened to visitors and is part of a wonderful itinerary across Oltrarno including the Gardens of Boboli and the Fortress of Belvedere.
In the spotlight
The Baroque Stairs are the most striking decoration of the Bardini Garden; at its top is a wide terrace with a belvedere-loggia, from where we can enjoy a beautiful view on Florence. At the sides of the stairs are six fountains with mosaics and flowers.
In the lower part of the garden is a small green theater, which was built on the side of the hill.
Among the many decorations of the garden the two grottos are to be remembered: the smaller one, in the upper part of the garden, imitates a natural cave; the bigger one is more decorated and is very near to the rear of the palace Mozzi, which is now under restoration.
Bardini Garden is not only decorated with statues and buildings, but also with countless flowers: their flourishing give to the whole garden a different face in each season.