Florence Favs…!

The Torrigiani Gardens in Florence span nearly 17 acres and contain an impressive array of flowering plants and artistic marvels. The Gardens reached their height in popularity during the 19th century, when Marquis Pietro Torrigiani began to acquire adjoining properties, expanding the size of the garden and decorating it in the English Romantic style.

Perhaps the most impressive structure in the gardens is the astronomy tower. Rising up beyond the treetops, this tower, deliberately designed in the then-popular neo-Gothic style, contained a vast library and a fantastic collection of scientific instruments.   800px-Giardino_torrigiani,_torretta_13 wikimediacommons

Today, the Gardens are the chosen site of a number of special events. ACCENT Florence Study Center Director Michelangelo D’Elia discusses why the Torrigiani Gardens are one of his Florence Favs in this Live Like A Local post!


The Torrigiani Gardens are the largest privately owned gardens within the city walls. I like it for the history, the events and fashion shows held there, and the cultural value of the area.JPX0030torrigianisite

The Torrigiani Gardens have many different kinds of plants and trees so I find it really charming from a historical point of view; and I appreciate the way they set up events and organize fashion shows, using the space in a more modern way. Conveniently, it’s on my side of the River, so I always try to go when there is an event there. The Torrigiani Gardens are only open for special events, so it helps to be on the mailing list. Some of the events are open to the public so even if you don’t get the email, you can still go. It’s a nice part of Florence.

800px-Giardino_torrigiani,_edificio_04 wikimediacommons~ Michelangelo D’Elia, ACCENT Florence

Florence Favs…!

In our next “Live Like A Local” featured post, Daniela Grosso in Florence describes how the history of the city can still be felt in the streets and gardens of Florence today.

As a Florentine baptized in the Baptistery in Piazza Del Duomo, a square right in the middle of the city, I love to walk along the boulevards, through the mild hills of Florence where Michelangelo built our walls.


If I were to take you on a stroll through this area today, first we would enter Porta Romana Square through the largest and best preserved gate of the city. Here, it is typical for Florentines to stop and eat a sandwich with lampredotto or trippa. Almost every mile you’ll find there is a “door”. During the medieval era, these “doors” were used as entries to the city. The avenues (viali) create a natural border between the Florence city center and the residential ring where the Florentines live.


Just on the corner of Porta Romana, there are the Boboli Stables where the Medici family used to keep their horses. The Boboli Stables are within the city center, on the southern part.

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Nowadays, you’ll find a beautiful high school with a wide garden where the stables once were. There, we can sit down and eat our sandwich while staring at students, teachers, and a bunch of dogs playing around.

Boboli Gardens use

Pitti Square and Porta Romana, the two entrances to the Boboli Gardens, are just a few meters from the city center. You can breathe easy there and feel how very Florentine they are!

As one of Florence’s most popular tourist attractions, the Ponte Vecchio is a few minutes from Pitti Square, and will connect us back to Piazza del Duomo. Pitti Square is a very big square full of visitors all day long—it’s not very relaxing there, compared to the Boboli Gardens (a park that requires a paid ticket to enter).

If you’re looking for a relaxing escape on a warm spring day, we recommend you take a stroll through Piazza Del Duomo, head south to Porta Romana Square, and then make your way into the beautiful Boboli Gardens to indulge in a lampredotto or trippa sandwich!

~Daniela Grosso, ACCENT Florence

Florence Favs…!

LacieNext in our “Live Like A Local” series, check out what Florence local Lacie Raymond recommends if you have a free day in Tuscany!

If you’re studying abroad a Firenze, you should definitely visit the Medici Villas that lie on the outskirts of the city. Getting there is relatively simple: with the purchase of a €1.50 ticket, a bus will drop you off within a reasonable walking distance of a few important Florentine villas, and my favorite, the Villa Petraia. With its well-maintained gardens and spectacular view, it is a stunning example of Italian Renaissance architecture. While there, you can go on a free volunteer-led guided tour of the internal space. MediciVilla

While in the Florentine countryside, if you’re there in the Spring and Summer, you may encounter what Italians call a sagra. During these seasons, it is common for small Italian towns to host a sagra, which is a sort of Italian food festival usually held in a community center. The menus for these events focus on an ingredient (often the meat of a particular animal) that is cultivated in the area. Sagras are usually far off the tourist path, which makes them less accessible by public transportation, but if you find yourself near one, you will definitely get a cultural experience packed with locals.

~Lacie Raymond, ACCENT Florence