Tuscany is the home of many beautiful gardens, from historic villa gardens and Florence’s famous Boboli Garden to whimsical private gardens. These are my picks for top gardens to see in Tuscany.
Top Tuscan Gardens
- Villa Garzoni Garden, in Collodi between Lucca and Montecatini Terme, is an 18th century garden that’s a mixture of Renaissance and Baroque. Garden pathways, lined with statues, lead up the hill to the villa itself (currently closed to the public). Highlights include flower displays, roses, box hedges, water features, a labyrinth, and a collection of 19th century camellias. Also in the garden is a butterfly house, an enclosed tropical garden where butterflies and small birds live.
- Several historic villas with gardens are in the countryside around Lucca. Villa Torrigiani, between Collodi and Lucca, is one of best to visit. its small garden has grottoes, grotesque statues, fountains, and extensive waterworks. Villa tours are given at set times but you can visit the garden from March through the first Sunday in November, mornings from 10:00 or afternoons from 15:00 (closed Tuesdays). See Villa Torrigiani garden slide show and information for location and photos. Other villa gardens to visit in the area are Villa Oliva and Villa Reale in Marlia.
- Boboli Garden, behind the Pitti Palace, is probably Florence’s best known garden. Created in the 16th century by the Medici family, It’s a tranquil escape from the city. Tree-lined walkways take you to fountains, statues, a pond, grottos, and great view spots. There’s even an Egyptian Obelisk, added in the 18th century. You may be surprised to learn that Florence actually has several gardens you can visit including the Bardini Gardens (free admission with Boboli Garden ticket), the Rose Garden, and the Iris Garden. Find out more in Best Gardens in Florence.
- La Foce Garden, near Montepulciano in southern Tuscany’s scenic Val d’Orcia, is on the former estate of Iris Origo. The garden, created in the early 20th century, is a mix of Italian and English style. Read more about Iris Origo’s fascinating life and how she transformed working conditions on the farm in Images and Shadows: Part of a Life . The garden can only be seen on a guided tour given on certain days and times – see La Foce Garden for details.
- The Tarot Garden is an unusual garden in Capalbio, near the Maremma coast of southern Tuscany. In the garden are large, colorful sculptures representing Tarot cards created by French artist Niki de Saint Phalle. The garden is open afternoons from April 1 to October 15 and on the first Saturday of the month with free admission, 9-1, the rest of the year. See updated visiting information on il Giardino dei Tarocchi.