Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Gardens through times

The Aggies at the Bardini Gardens, overlooking the city of Florence

The baroque staircase at the Bardini Garden,
meticulously restored between 2000 and 2005
LL: Today, on a fantastic pre-summer day, the students enrolled in the International Horticulture class had the opportunity to visit two magnificent historical gardens, the Boboli Garden and the Bardini Gardens, both located in downtown Florence. The Boboli Garden extends from the hill behind the Pitti Palace and became the private garden of the Medici Family after the Cosimo I de' Medici purchased the building in 1549. The initial plan was drawn by Niccolò Tribolo, although the works were completed, after his death in 1550 by other architects including also Giorgio Vasari (from 1598 to 1561) along with Bartolomeo Ammannati and Bernardo Buontalenti under the reign of Francis I, who succeeded to his father Cosimo. The Medici and the Lorraine (who ruled over Florence after the Medici dynasty)  families continued to enrich and enlarge the garden also in 17th, 18th and 19th centuries. The first phase of the Bardini Garden goes back to the Middle Age, when the wealthy family Mozzi was, already in the 13th century, the owner of several houses and land in the Florence area. Originally it was an arrangement of walled orchards near the Mozzi Palace covering the whole of the hill behind it. Throughout the centuries, several owners have added and modified features of the garden. In 1965 when its last owner, Ugo Bardini died the garden was abandoned and fell in disrepair. Finally, in 2005, the Bardini Garden, after nearly five years of painstaking restoration, reopened its doors, bringing to light an important historical journey that portrays the interesting and complex phases in the changes undergone over time.

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