logo Museo Galileo - Institute and Museum of the History of Science
  • Panoramic view of Florence from the Belvedere in the Garden of Palazzo Mozzi Bardini.zoom in altra finestra
  • Panoramic view of Florence from the Belvedere in the Garden of Palazzo Mozzi Bardini.zoom in altra finestra

Palazzo Mozzi Bardini Garden

Recently restored and returned to the public, the vast terraced area spreads out between the left bank of the River Arno and the famed Boboli Garden. Documents from the 14th century attest that the area, which as of the mid 13th century belonged to the noble Mozzi family, was formerly the site of a hortus conclusus, a typical example of medieval walled garden. Enriched and enlarged through the centuries, the garden still today conserves a composite character owing to the stratifications of various epochs: the old agricultural park to the east, the seventeenth-century layout with the Baroque staircase and Villa Manadori in the middle and, to the west, the English garden created by Luigi Le Blanc in the early 19th century. The gardens situated next to Palazzo Mozzi in the Middle Ages have been lost, as they were destroyed in the second half of the 19th century to make room for a carriageable drive by order of the then-owner Stefano Bardini.

The garden’s botanical varieties owing in part to the careful philological recovery effected with the recent restorations, still give the idea of the original layout. In particular, the English woods mainly made up of autochthonous plants (phillyrea, butcher’s broom, evergreen oak, box tree, bay laurel, etc.), has conserved several exotic plants typical of nineteenth-century taste, while the lawn that borders the Baroque staircase still flanks medicinal plants (rosemary, Bengal rose, mahonia and others) with cultivations of olive trees and Florentine iris, used in the past to create perfumes.

Particularly interesting from the viewpoint of hydraulic engineering is, finally, the recent discovery of the complex system of water tricks, which dates to the early 19th century and descended from the Azalea Meadow down in the direction of the villa.


Texts by Elena Fani

English translation by Victor Beard

Last update 20/feb/2008