The true soul of Oltrarno is the quarter of Santo Spirito, with its large green square very busy at all times of the day. Here you will find bars and restaurants with outdoor seating with the background of the severe facade of the Renaissance basilica of Santa Maria di Santo Spirito, whose interior contains extraordinary frescoes by Botticelli and Filippino Lippi.
On the square facing several medieval palaces: the Palazzo Guadagni is greater, from the top floor with an open loggia, a innovation that became fashionable among Florentine aristocrats of the sixteenth century.
After a short stop to enjoy a oil schiacciata, the typical Tuscan focaccia, along with a craft beer made in Florence, the advice is to continue to walk out of the chaos in the green.
Boboli is a magnificent example of Renaissance garden
Oltrarno shows off some of the most beautiful gardens in Florence. From the majestic Boboli Gardens, a park that combines art and nature. Created by the Medici family, like many other treasures that Florence guards, is a splendid example of Renaissance garden. The nearest part of the building consists of shaped hedges in geometric shapes that lead to groves of oaks and cypresses, to create a contrast between nature and artifice. Statues of various periods are a bit ‘everywhere and lookouts open at precise locations to admire Florence from different angles. In the walk do not miss to admire the fountain of Bacchus, who portrays Pietro Barbino, the dwarf of the court of Cosimo I, in the guise of Bacchus, god of wine, riding on a turtle, the Ocean fountain by Giambologna in the center of island and Grotta of Buontalenti, an extravagant Mannerist building in which is recessed a cast of Prigioni by Michelangelo.
The Garden can be accessed through 4 entrances: main entrance of Palazzo Pitti, Via Romana 37/A (Annalena), Porta Romana, Forte Belvedere. Starting in February 2016, the concierge and access by Annalena are closed to the public during the first Sunday of the month free. All the information about times and ticket prices are available on www.uffizi.beniculturali.it.
Near the Boboli Gardens are the Bardini Gardens (Inputs and ticket: Via dei Bardi 1/r – Costa San Giorgio 2 for those coming from the Boboli Gardens; Tel. +39 055 20066206 – firstname.lastname@example.org), from where among rose bushes, statues and fruit trees, you can enjoy a magnificent view of Florence and the hills that surround it. The terrace is at the top of a baroque staircase whose sides are six fountains surrounded by flower beds and flowers, but the show does not end there: do not miss the agricultural part and the fountain of the Dragon, placed in the upper part of the park. And every first Sunday of the month admission is free.
These gardens, including those of Boboli, are forbidden to dogs, so those who want to stretch their legs to their furry friends must opt for a walk to other places. Ideals, with entry from Porta Romana Square, the gardens of Florence National Institute of Art located on the premises that housed the royal stables of the Palazzo Pitti palace, in the middle of a park that borders the Boboli Gardens. And admission is always free!
Another unmissable view of Florence is from Piazzale Michelangelo which dominates the second reproduction of Michelangelo’s David (the first is in Piazza della Signoria, while the original is in the Galleria dell’Accademia, www.accademia.org). We were here in the evening to greet Florence with a charming and unforgettable image of the city “by night”.