A rose garden with a view – Il Giardino delle Rose, Firenze

Il Giardino delle Rose, Rose Garden, Firenze, Florence

Il Giardino delle Rose, Firenze

This month has brought visitors from England and with them an excuse to revisit and marvel at the beauty of nearby Florence. Whist the crowds head to the viewing area at Piazzale Michelangelo to take in the city’s skyline, we escaped the chaos and sought refuge in one of my favourite spots in the city. Perched on the hillside above Florence, directly under the Piazzale, Il Giardino delle Rose is an oasis of calm with spectacular views of the city.

The walled, terraced rose garden was designed by Giuseppe Poggi in 1865 and restored a couple of years ago. The garden contains a number of types of plants (1000 botanical varieties) including lemon trees, waterlilies and a recently added Japanese garden. The main attraction, however, are undoubtedly the 350 varieties of (mainly old) roses. When in bloom, the array of climbers, ramblers, shrub roses and more fill the garden with a heavenly fragrance.

rose, giardino delle rose Firenze florence rose garden roses, giardino delle rose, Firenze, Florence rose garden

Rose, gairdino delle rose, firenze, florence rose garden Rose, giardino delle rose Firenze, Florence rose garden

The garden is free to visit and has a pleasingly relaxed atmosphere, with Florentines and tourists alike sprawled on the grass sunbathing, reading and picnicking.

Il giardino delle Rose, Rose Garden, Firenze, FlorenceIl giardino delle Rose, Rose Garden, Firenze, Florence

Since 2011 the garden has hosted a permanent exhibition of gently-surrealist statues by the Belgian artist Jean-Michel Folon, who fell in love with Florence as a young man and whose widow bestowed a collection of bronzes on the city on his death.

Je me souviens (I remember), Jean-Michel Folon

Jean-Michel Folon, Je me souviens (I remember)

Jean-Michel Foon, Partir, Giardino delle Rose, Firenze, Florence

Jean-Michel Folon, Partir (Leaving)

Since the installation of the Folon statues, the rose garden is open year-round from 9am to dusk. By our visit in the second week of June some of the rose blooms had faded, and swollen hips were already forming on some of the bushes – in May the garden would be absolutely spectacular, and a visit could be combined with a visit to the garden’s sister space, the nearby Giardino dell’Iris, which opens for one month a year.

Regardless of the season, however, the rose garden must be one of the most peaceful and relaxing places in Florence, with views which are only rivalled by those from Piazzale Michelangelo and San Miniato, both of which are just above the rose garden. The steep climb to the garden is well worth it, and can be eased (or rewarded on the way down) with a visit to a bar or gelataria in the relaxed Oltrarno neighbourhood.

View of Florence from the Giardino delle Rose, Firenze

23 responses to “A rose garden with a view – Il Giardino delle Rose, Firenze

  1. What a haven! I’m adding that to my list of things to see if I ever manage to get back to Florence again (the last time I was there was 12 years ago!)

  2. On a garden club tour several years ago, I fell in love with Tuscany…of course! So sorry I missed this lovely spot. With the help of your post/photos and my imagination, I placed myself in this garden this AM while on a ‘time out’ from shelving garden books in a new home. Thank you for the lovely visit!

    • Tuscany has many beautiful gardens, most of which I’m yet to explore, and in May-June there are roses everywhere, it’s heavenly. This garden used to be closed most of the time, only opening in May, so it’s not surprising you missed it. I’m glad you enjoyed ‘visiting’ it today!

  3. Looks just wonderful. I have never been to Italy, but would love to some day. My older son went with a friend before starting University – they were in Rome (where his friend has an aunt), Florence, Sienna, and Venice. The crowds do sound intimidating, though.

    • It’s a fascinating and beautiful country, absolutely worth the visit if you ever have the opportunity. The big cities are certainly crowded with tourists but there are plenty of peaceful spots, such as this garden, too.

  4. Absolutely gorgeous, you make me want to return to Florence to see this rose garden! The views are astonishingly picture perfect. Thanks for sharing 🙂

  5. Like many of your other commenters I haven’t visited Florence yet, but would love to do so, especially as your post describes the rose garden so well. And irises too in May.

  6. Pingback: Day Tripping – Rome to Florence | Dreaming In Italian·

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