Lonely Planet review for Bardini Gardens
Florence's little-known Giardino Bardini was named after art collector Stefano Bardini (1836-1922), who bought the villa in 1913, restored much of its medieval garden and created new garden elements. Smaller and more manicured than the Boboli, it has all the features of a quintessential Tuscan garden - artificial grottos, orangery, marble statues, fountains, loggia, amphitheatre and a monumental baroque stone staircase staggering up the beautiful tiered gardens - but not the crowds. A springtime stroll is an extra-special joy when its azaleas, peonies, wisteria (all April and May) and irises (June) are in bloom. Its somewhat idyllic, summer cafe terrace, set in a stone loggia overlooking the Florentine skyline, is a wonderful spot for a panino lunch, ice cream or afternoon tea.
Inside the villa, the Museo Bardini hosts a collection of Roberto Capucci-designed haute couture and temporary exhibitions.