Italian gardens: Bardini Garden

Mar 16, 2017 222

The Bardini Garden is a historical garden of Florence, in the Oltrarno area: four hectares of garden, forest and orchard garden right by the medieval city walls. The first phase of the history of this area dates back to the Middle Ages starring the wealthy Mozzi family which, in the thirteenth century, was the owner of several houses and land including the so-called "Montecuccoli hill", which hosts the Garden. 

The original complex consisted of the main building with a loggia and a walled garden behind the building (hortus conclusus) bordered by a steep structured area of agricultural terraces. Over time, the garden was embellished by the Mozzis, great lover of gardens, which contributed to the new decoration of the staircase, enriching it with depths mosaic, fountains and sandstone statues of characters in rural customs.

The current garden is the integration of the Mozzi property with two other possessions. The first was the adjacent one by Giovan Francesco Manadori, who had built the Villa Manadora (called Belvedere), even then admired for the privileged view of the city and enriched by a garden with a lake, a waterfall and a fountain. The second was the woods owned by Louis Le Blanc, which he transformed into a modern Anglo-Chinese garden.

In the early twentieth century the whole property was purchased by the antiquarian Stefano Bardini who immediately after the purchase renewed the entire complex, enriching it with decorative elements from various sources assembled with eclectic taste. He built an avenue to reach the villa, demolishing walled gardens, and built a lodge on the Belvedere.

Since 2000, the Garden is managed by the Fondazione Parchi Monumentali Bardini Peyron, that after a deep restoration work has returned the Garden to its historical complexity.

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