Private guided visit to Torrigiani Garden, still private and available for visits only upon reservation.
It will be one of the owners, member of the Torrigiani family, that will guide you through the itinerary, conducting the visit in English or Italian.
Cost of the entrance ticket goes to the garden maintenance.
The request must be submitted at least 7 days in advance, proposing a preferred date and time that must be reconfirmed by owners.
Easy access from parkings on Via Gusciana, Viale Petrarca and Porta Romana.
The Torrigiani Garden is hidden in the heart of Florence. With its nearly seventeen acres it is the largest privately owned garden in Europe situated within city boundaries.
Renowned in the sixteenth century as a botanical garden it experienced a revival in the early nineteenth century when the Marquis Pietro Torrigiani inherited the property and started acquiring the surrounding land.
As was the fashion of the time, the Marquis transformed the land into a ‘romantic park\' in the English style, which covered an area of 25 acres. To this end he commissioned the architect Luigi de Cambray Digny who had recently redesigned the Oricellari gardens in Florence to much acclaim. Digny cleverly combined natural elements with artificially created landscaping, and included many symbols of esoteric nature.
The architect-engineer Gaetano Baccani who had just completed the design of the bell tower of Santa Croce with great success was hired as successor of Digny. Baccani incorporated into the garden a neo-gothic tower alluding to the family crest. Almost twenty-two meters high (72 feet), it housed a collection of astronomical instruments, a library, and a terrace from which to study the heavens.
A stone spiral staircase connects the floors – but it is not the only way to reach the top of the tower: a mechanical chair activated by pulleys which permitted a speedy ascent was added long before elevators had even been thought possible.
Nearby, below the artificial hill, part of the original defense bastion erected in 1544 by Cosimo I dei Medici is visible.
Your guide will lead you on a poetic and romantic journey through the dark ’sacred‘ wood surrounding the crypt, symbol of the transience of earthly life, to the open spaces around the temple of Arcadia, symbol of pastoral life.
As you continue on over hills and through dales, out onto open lawns and pastures, it will be easy to imagine surprising a deer - as often happened in the past. On the way is the charming gymnasium, the aviary, and the delightful romantic bridge over the bed of the Ladon river.
At the entrance to the garden is a statue of Osiris holding the tablet with the rules of conduct for visitors to the garden. You will also see a baroque piece by Baratta representing Actaeon who flees after seeing Diana’s face, a Greek chiseled marble group depicting a bull killed by a lion, the statues of Janus and Aesculapius, the Pio Fedi statue of Seneca with the young Pietro Torrigiani, and the marble column dedicated to the great botanist and mycologist, Pier Antonio Micheli, who worked so diligently in this garden and who with other passionate naturalists founded the Italian Botanical Society in 1716.
The Torrigiani Garden is well known for its botanical garden as well as for the extraordinary wealth of tree and plant species from all parts of the globe. The old and new greenhouses, as well as the covered lemon houses bear witness to this fame.
As you stroll in the shade of ancient cedars (Cedrus Libani, Atlantica, and Deodora) along the winding paths throughout the garden, you will see many oaks, horse chestnut, cypress, magnolia, plane trees.... and a great and rare Fagus Tricolor (Tricolor Beech).
Various courses on the art of gardening and painting are held in these perfect surroundings .
Today, the Torrigiani Malaspina and the Torrigiani Santa Cristina families are still equally committed to preserving and perpetuating the legacy of this rich historical park of immense importance.