Florence is known for elegant architecture, historic corners filled with mystery, and unbeatable art museums. But what about when you just need a breath of fresh air? Then it’s time to bring some of the city’s best panini and wine to one of the amazing parks in Florence. It might not be the first city you think about for green areas, but the truth is this Renaissance capital has a number of beautiful parks which make you feel you’ve stepped into a whole different world.
Let’s wander through some of the best parks in Florence.
Giardino delle Rose
Viale Giuseppe Poggi
Right around the corner from the popular panoramic spot Piazzale Michelangelo, you can find the Giardino delle Rose.
It is a terraced garden filled with aromatic roses of all kinds. Plus, you’ll get those same amazing views you catch from Piazzale Michelangelo. This is a park in Florence worth visiting any time of day, but watching the sunset is especially magical!
Piazzale delle Cascine
One of the largest parks in Florence, this is a large open green space where many go for sport and picnics. It is a popular spot among all ages. During the sunnier months, the long paved road running through the Cascina park is filled with rollerbladers and skaters alike. You can even rent a pair of skates if you would like to try gliding along the banks of the Arno.
Down further into the park you will also find Piscina La Pavoniere, an outdoor pool surrounded by a relaxing green area with plenty of shade. There is even a little bar here, making it the perfect summer stop.
Insider’s tip: La Cascina also houses one of the top food markets in Florence!
Giardino di Villa Strozzi (also known as Il Boschetto)
On the opposite side of the Arno from the Cascine is a smaller, slightly wilder park. Giardino di Villa Strozzi is another spot loved by locals for its multi-purpose areas. There is a dog park, a playground, and a cultural center where outdoor events are often held in the summer.
‘Il Boschetto’ might be a little quieter than other central parks in Florence, but since it is quite known by locals, it can get busy on the weekends!
Via Vittorio Emanuele II
Originally a park for gardening – begun by the Società Toscana dell’Orticultura – there once were vines, fruit trees, and exotic plants. Today the garden is a little simpler, but still as beautiful. This relaxing meadow area has leafy trees that provide welcome relief from the summer sun. There are also plenty of playgrounds inside, and a great view of the city.
Another curious element if you wander through this park – don’t miss the gorgeous Tepidarium, built in the late 1880s.
The Horticultural Garden’s tepidarium, or greenhouse, is now used as an event center! You can also see it when visiting the park. Photo credit: Bradley Griffin
Giardino del Bobolino
Giardino del Bobolino is a free park in Florence near the Porta Romana area. It is a curated park with paths, designed staircases, and even fake grottoes. Though small, the design completely hides the outside city. You’ll truly feel like you’ve left Florence altogether!
This park also tends to be quieter than the others, as it is a little off the usual visitor path.
Parco di Villa Fabbricotti
Via Vittorio Emanuele II
This stop is actually made of three interconnected parks. When you enter the Park of Villa Fabbricotti, you’ll also be able to wander through Giardino Baden Powell and Giardino del Museo Stibbert. These parks are a little out of Florence to the north, but this makes them even quieter to visit.
Villa Fabbricotti itself is like walking into a fairy tale; you’ll find ancient trees and a gorgeous villa, plus decorative temples and statues throughout the park. For those of you who have been to Rome, it may remind you of Villa Borghese. This part of the park is great for having a little walk or relaxing with a book in one of the peaceful corners.
Giardino Baden Powell is more known for its playground and picnic area. This park tends to be more lively on weekends, with families coming for a picnic. Finally, the Stibbert Garden is a creative area surrounding the museum with decorative elements and a recreation of an Egyptian temple.
Via de’ Bardi
If you are looking for the perfect place to take a break in Florence, Giardino Bardini makes a relaxing stop. Take a walk under the wisteria portico or grab a seat at the top of the staircase for a great view of Florence’s Duomo. Giardino Bardini is a gorgeous terraced garden across the Arno from the Ponte alle Grazie. This park is often overlooked; visitors tend to skip over it in favor of Piazzale Michelangelo or the Giardino di Boboli (Boboli Gardens).
Giardino di Boboli
Enter via Palazzo Pitti
Of course we had to include this gorgeous park! Please note that this is the only park on our list that is not free – you have to buy an entrance ticket to go inside. Giardino di Boboli is a classic on your visit to Florence, with extensive curated gardens that were built from the 16th to the 19th century.
This is not the usual garden to sit in and relax, but rather it acts as an open-air museum. There are plenty of monuments, smaller villas, and gardens within the garden. An average visit takes about 2-3 hours.
Valfonda is a small park right near the main train station in Florence. The garden is attached to Villa Vittoria, which was built in 1520. It is free to visit. While it is quite small, it is a nice spot to take a little break before grabbing your train.
Giardino dell’Iris (for a special spring experience)
Only open from April to May when the irises are in full bloom, this is a beautiful sight to see. If you happen to be visiting Florence during this time, you can visit the park for free to admire the multicolored iris collection.
An Italy local for nearly 10 years, Evelyn has traveled to nearly every region getting overly excited about cute doors and nonni cafes. She’s an archaeology and art history major who fell in love with Italian wine, getting her Sommelier and Italian Wine Scholar certifications. She’s transformed her passion for La Bel Paese into a travel planning and relocation consultancy with Colline Alle Montagne. You’ll find her on Instagram @collinemontagne, always sipping a glass of wine and sharing the authentic life in Italy.