When I was planning our trip to Italy with kids, Florence was the city I knew we would stay in the longest. It’s where I lived when studying abroad and where I knew I’d feel very comfortable with this kids. While I was comfortable getting around the city and knew many spots to take the kids, I also knew there were plenty of things I missed as a college student that my kids would enjoy: playgrounds and kids programs. I also knew that there could be new things opened in the 15 years since I had left. So, I did a lot of reading an research before I left. I have lots more to share about my favorite city in the world… but today I’m focusing on 1 spot I read had reopened in the past few years: the Bardini Gardens.
For details on where to stay in Florence with kids, visit this post.
The Boboli Gardens are a very famous spot to visit in Florence. The Bardini Gardens, while not as well known, are also a must see in the city. Because they are not as well known, I found this spot to be much less crowded than the Boboli Gardens. In fact, we went first thing in the morning (to avoid the heat) and I think we may have been the only people there! The view is incredible and it’s a spot I would definitely recommend adding to your Florence itinerary with kids. Here are some things to know before you go:
Basic Details for Bardini Gardens:
- Price: 6 euro for adults, under 18 = free, also free the 1st Sunday of the month and for handicapped persons & journalists
- Opening Times: The Bardini Gardens are open every day except: the 1st and last Monday of the month, New Year’s Day and Christmas Day. The times:January – February: 8:15 am – 4:30 pm
March: 8:15 am – 5:30 pm
April – May: 8:15 am – 6:30 pm
June, July, August: 8:15 am – 7:30 pm
September – October: 8:15 am – 6:30 pm
November – December: 8:15 am – 4:30 pm
- Spots to Eat: Belvedere Loggia which is part of the Villa serves coffee, snacks and a light lunch. The views are incredible!
- Getting there: Bardini Gardens are on the Oltrarno (the other side of the Arno River) and can be reached by foot from most parts of the city. Once you cross the river, it’s about a 10 min walk, depending on which bridge you cross from.
Tips for Visiting the Bardini Gardens with Kids:
- Be prepared for a hike! Once you cross to the Oltrarno, the walk to the gardens is straight uphill. We were able to do it with strollers, but hold on to those strollers tight! My boys were in strollers (2 and 3) and the girls were able to walk (6 and 8).
- Once inside the gardens, we left the strollers and just walked. The gardens themselves felt less hilly than the Boboli Gardens and even my 2 year old was able to walk around fine. There is a lot of gravel and stairs, so I would not recommend having a stroller inside.
- Bring snacks! While there are some spots to eat, we were there before they opened. There are many nice spots to sit and take a break with the kids.
4. I found Bardini Gardens to have more shade than Boboli Gardens, but for a summer visit I would still recommend going early in the AM with kids and bringing sunscreen.
5. From the entrance, with your back to the city view, we ventured left. We almost didn’t go to the right at all and then right before we left we did and it was my kids favorite part of the gardens! There is a neat little “river” that runs from statue to statue and a spot they can get close to the little “pond” and fountains. It was very shady and cool too. So, don’t miss that part!
6. There are combo deals for the Boboli Gardens and Bardini Gardens if you do it in one day. I would not recommend this with kids. I think they are awesome spots to run around and see, but would be too much for one day. The kids are discounted or free at both, so I would recommend visiting them at 2 different times.
7. If you can, visit during April or May when the wisteria blooms. There is a “tunnel” of it to walk through that I imagine is beautiful! My kids loved running through the tunnel even with flowerless vines. I would love to go back in the spring to see the wisteria.
8. Be ready for the views: I have walked to many spots to see the panoramic view of Florence and none (in my opinion) compare to the view when inside the Bardini Gardens. I also think it’s a quieter, less crowded spot to see the views than Piazza Michelangelo.
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