The best view you can get over Florence is from the top of the beautiful Baroque staircase in the Bardini Garden – four hectares of English-style woods, hidden grottos, orchards, cultivated and grassy fields on Montecuccoli Hill, in the city center’s Oltrarno district.
The garden has an ancient history dating at least back to the second half of the 13th century, and owes its name to antique dealer Stefano Bardini, who purchased the park from the aristocratic Carolath Benten family in 1913. At that point, the complex included Italian and English gardens, as well as Palazzo Mozzi and the 17th-century Villa Manadora, which had been added with an adjoining property.
Bardini started a season of renewal and renovation, bringing the garden at the height of its beauty and making it a location worthy of the amazing city below, as a 19th-century lyric describes:
“Upon discovering Florence from above for the first time, the cultured pilgrim will enthusiastically exclaim: Hail, oh city above all other Italian beauties; hail, oh Florence that was named after flowers and seems to rest on green cushions in the middle of a basin, crossed by the Arno and crowned by verdant hills; hail, oh homeland of Dante, Machiavelli, Michelangelo, Galileo…”