lovely to wander. At the upper, southern limit, beyond the box-hedged rose garden and
3.50 incl Giardino di Boboli, Museo delgi Argenti & Museo del Costume; Mar 8.15am-5.30pm, Apr-
May & Sep-Oct 8.15am-6.30pm, Jun-Aug 8.15am-7.30pm, Nov-Feb 8.15am-4.30pm) , fantastic views
over the Florentine countryside fan out.
Highlights of this wonderful airy garden, blessed with plenty of statues and hidden
paths between trees, include a rather neglected Cypress Alley , the walled Giardino del Cava-
liere (Knights' Garden), and Isoletto , a gorgeous ornamental pool. Typical Renaissance, the
18th-century orangery (closed to visitors) is where 500-odd citrus trees keep snug in
winter. The 17th-century maze, a Tuscan horticultural standard, was razed in the 1830s to
make way for a driveway for carriages. The monumental 'face' sculpture (1998) is by Pol-
ish sculptor Igor Mitoraj (b 1944), who lives in Pietrasanta near Carrara today.
By the garden exit, hundreds of seashells decorate the facade of Grotta del Buontalenti
inside to see Venere (Venus) rising from the waves. The wall, smothered with the foliage
of orange trees to the left of the grotto is the outer facade of the final leg of the legendary
( www.bardinipeyron.it ; entrances at Via de' Bardi 1r & Costa di San Giorgio 2; adult/reduced/child €7/3.50/
free; 8.15am-7pm summer, shorter hr winter) This garden was named after art collector Ste-
fano Bardini (1836-1922), who bought the villa in 1913 and restored its medieval garden.
Smaller and more manicured than the Boboli, it has all the features of a quintessential
Tuscan garden, but not the crowds. Inside the villa, the Museo Roberto Capucci MAP
Oct) hosts a collection of Capucci -designed haute couture and temporary exhibitions.
A springtime stroll past artificial grottos, an orangery, marble statues and fountains is
idyllic. Beds of azaleas, peonies and wisteria bloom in April and May, irises in June. The
romantic summer cafe (open from 10am to 6pm April to September), set in a stone loggia
overlooking the Florentine skyline, is a wonderful spot for a panino lunch, ice cream or