"Annalena" or "Corsi" Garden
Situated in the San Frediano district, the garden occupies the area formerly occupied by the monastery of San Vincenzo, founded around 1441 by countess Anna Elena (Annalena) Malatesta. During the war against Siena, the land was occupied by the fortifications ordered by Cosimo I de’ Medici, including an underground passage that still today connects the Boboli, Corsi and Torrigiani gardens. Following the destruction of the fortifications (1571), the area was left abandoned for many years.
In 1790, marquis Tommaso Corsi purchased the land known as "Moors’ Garden", and instructed architect Giuseppe Manetti to design what can be considered the first English garden in Florence. Realised between 1801 and 1810, the garden was structured on two principal elements: a large elliptical island of box trees and a terrace which made it possible to isolate the garden from the urban context and, at the same time, expand the modest space available by widening the view, projecting it towards the Tuscan countryside. The garden’s furnishings in the neoclassical style feature the "Temple of Song" (1810) with a statue of Mercury. Also interesting are the terracotta statues of the Muses, recognisable by the objects they hold. Particularly noteworthy is the statue of Urania who holds a globe in her hand.
The old convent of Annalena, which borders with the Corsi Garden, is today occupied by a nursery.
Texts by Graziano Magrini
English translation by Victor Beard
Last update 14/feb/2008