Il Giardino dell’ Orticultura
Via Bolognese and Viale Vittorio Emmanuale
Submitted by: Christina Corley
This park is a beautiful place to pause from the bustling streets of Florence; a place to enjoy a stroll, play ball, jog, or just sit in the sun.
In the afternoons, children come to play and kick the football around while their grandparents sit on nearby benches to keep eye. Under the grandeur of the old tepidarium and near the historic loggia, Florentines enjoy this green patch of solace in the rich fabric of their busy city.
What Makes Il Giardino dell’ Orticultura a Great Place?
This park is easily accessible from both Via Bolognese and Viale Vittorio Emmanuale and is located just blocks from a children’s daycare center. While it is not as visually accessible as other parks in Florence, the fact that it is a green island tucked away from the noisy streets is one charming feature that makes it unique. Nearby residents walk to the park to relax along with the few tourists lucky enough to know of its location.
The park is shielded from the eyesores of cars and congested traffic because it is bordered by buildings and backed by a rising hill that holds a smaller, sloping park.
Aside from the daily uses of the uses of the park for strolling, walking dogs, playing ball, basking in the sun, and other relaxed recreational activities, the last weekend of April the city continues the garden’s horticultural tradition by hosting a “Flower Fair” at which Florentines and tourists alike spend the day browsing the vibrant array of colors and perfumes that fill the park. During this fair the tepidarium is opened as a museum and one cannot help but leave with armfuls of amazing plants and flowers!
Because it is nestled in a highly residential area just outside the city center, Il Giardino dell' Orticultura is mostly used by locals. Many women and grandparents make a visit to the park part of the after school routine for their bambini, but the park is used by people of all ages.
History & Background
The Tuscan Society of Horticulture began renting the gardens in 1859, later purchased the land in 1876, and commissioned the construction of a tepidarium in 1880. This bathhouse, designed by Giacomo Roster, marked the first National Flower Show organized by La Societa’ Toscana d’Orticultura. In 1911, the Bondi loggia was added to the garden in preparation for Florence’s celebrations of the fiftieth anniversary of Italian unity and can still be seen today. Now the garden is owned and managed by the municipal authorities of Florence.