In the company of my fellow students of the photography course I’m doing, I paid a visit to the garden of Villa La Petraia during the last weekend of March. The Medici villa that dates back to the 14th century is located in the hilly neighbourhood of Castello in the north-west of Florence and can easily be reached from the station by bus 2 or 28. The beautiful villa, placed on the World Heritage List in 2013, is situated on a hill and offers a wide view over the Florentine valley. You can visit the villa free of charge accompanied by a guide.
La Petraia is surrounded by lush greenery at the front with formal gardens and with a small forest in English style at the back of the villa. The formal garden was built on three levels, at the highest level you’ll find the beautiful Fiorenza fountain by Tribolo and Pierino da Vinci with on top the elegant sculpture by Giambologna (the original sculpture can be admired inside the villa). The large conservatory is located on the second level, in the colder months it offers a warm spot for the lemons and other vulnerable plants while the lowest level is divided geometrically in Italian style by low hedges.
I had visited the villa before but during late summer when the trees were in full leaf, but also in the spring, the garden is well worth a visit with wild flowers everywhere in the grass and different types of blooming bulbs, including Dutch tulips.
Click on the images for a larger view.