Florence is known worldwide for its palaces, its museums, its art. But the city – especially the Oltrarno area – also houses parks and other natural wonders: places that become particularly appealing during the summer. Among these, the Villa Bardini garden surely stands out. Its long staircase surrounded by greenery, is in fact an astonishing view for those who gaze at Lungarno Torrigiani.
Laying on a hillside, between Via dei Bardi and Forte di Belvedere, the Villa Bardini garden overlooks Florence like a terrace, and offers its visitors a unique perspective on the city. To reach the highest point of the garden, one can follow three routes: the direct path cuts through the park, along the splendid baroque staircase; but the viewpoint is also accessible from the left side, through the orchard and the wisteria arbor, or from the right side, through the English woods.
Right in the middle of the English woods is Villa Bardini, which now houses a museum and a convention hall. Here we met Marcella Antonini Nardoni, general secretary of the Bardini Peyron Monumental Parks Foundation. She helped us trace the history of this beautiful complex. “The villa and the garden, dating back to the sixteenth century, were bought by antique dealer Stefano Bardini at the beginning of the twentieth century, and turned into his showroom”, tells Nardoni. “After the death of Stefano’s son, Ugo, in 1965, the entire complex fell into a state of total abandon, and so remained for about forty years. Only in 1998 the Foundation was charged to administer Villa Bardini, which meanwhile had become property of the Italian State. After a long and expansive restoration process, that was made possible by the economic resources of the Ente Cassa di Risparmio di Firenze, we finally managed to open the complex to the public: the garden was opened in 2005, the Villa in 2007 “.
Nowadays, the park can be visited all year, from Tuesday to Sunday, from 10:00 am to 07:00 pm. The same ticket also gives access to the Boboli Gardens. But the attractions of Villa Bardini go way beyond the garden, as Nardoni tells us: “The Villa hosts two permanent museums, the Pietro Annigoni Museum and the Roberto Capucci Museum. The first collects the works of the famous painter from Milan, whose artistic life mainly took place here in Florence. The Roberto Capucci Museum presents the unique dress /sculptures of the designer from Rome, that were designed and manufactured to be exhibited, and not worn. The third floor houses the temporary exhibitions, mainly focused on the twetieth century”.
In addition to exhibitions, Villa Bardini promotes various side events: “In collaboration with the Cherubini Conservatory of Florence, we host about 60 concerts of chamber music, and two operas every year. The concerts take place in the garden every Tuesday, in the late afternoon, and include a cocktail. On Thursdays, between April and June, we organize conferences on issues related to art, music and culture“.
Do not miss this little piece of paradise, and treat yourself to a few hours of cultural relax in the midst of nature!
Villa Bardini is open from Tuesday to Sunday, from 10:00 to 07:00 pm. It is possible to access the villa from Costa San Giorgio 4, or from Via de ‘Bardi 1 red, passing through the garden. On www.bardinipeyron.it is possible to find more information about Villa Bardini, and phone numbers for events and reservations.