Panoramic view over River Arno and Florence from the Bardini Gardens, Florence (Firenze), Tuscany, Italy, Europe

Nico Tondini/Robert Harding

Villa e Giardino Bardini

Boboli & San Miniato al Monte

This 17th-century villa and garden was named after 19th-century antiquarian art collector Stefano Bardini (1836–1922), who bought it in 1913 and restored its ornamental medieval garden. It has all the features of a quintessential Tuscan garden, including artificial grottoes, orangery, marble statues and fountains. Inside the villa, the small Museo Pietro Annigoni displays works by Italian painter Pietro Annigoni (1910–88). End with city views from the romantic roof terrace.

April and May, with the garden's flower beds of azaleas, peonies and wisteria in bloom, are lovely months to visit, as is June with its flowering irises. Its Michelin-starred garden restaurant, La Leggenda dei Frati, with stone loggia overlooking the Florentine skyline, is one of the most romantic spots in the city to dine.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Boboli & San Miniato al Monte attractions

1. Palazzo de' Mozzi

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Pope Gregory X stayed at this early-Renaissance palazzo (palace) when brokering peace between the Guelps and Ghibellines in the 13th century.

3. Via de' Bardi

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Walking east from Ponte Vecchio, the first stretch of Via de' Bardi shows clear signs of its recent history. This entire area was flattened by German…

4. Forte di Belvedere

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Forte di Belvedere is a rambling fort designed by Bernardo Buontalenti for Grand Duke Ferdinando I at the end of the 16th century. From the massive…

5. Museo delle Porcellane

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Housed in the 18th-century Palazzina del Cavaliere in the Boboli Gardens, this small museum houses an exquisite collection of European porcelain. Many…

6. Giardino di Boboli

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Behind Palazzo Pitti, the fountain- and sculpture-adorned Boboli Gardens – slowly but surely being restored to their former pristine glory thanks to a €2…

7. Clet

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Should you notice something gone awry with street signs in Oltrarno – on a No Entry sign, a tiny black figure stealthily sneaking away with the white bar…

8. Grotta del Buontalenti

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This fantastical shell- and gem-encrusted grotto was built by Bernardo Buontalenti between 1583 and 1593 for Francesco I de' Medici; find it in the lower…