Botanical Garden
Orto Botanico
Putto Fountain

The Botanical Gardens of Florence were founded on December 1st, 1545, when Grand Duke Cosimo dei Medici purchased the land from the Dominican sisters. The orchard that was known with the name of "Giardino dei Semplici", because of the fact that it was used to cultivate and raise medicinal plants, is the third oldest botanical garden after those of Padua and Pisa.

The original layout was designed by Niccolò called "il Tribolo" who had already planned several other grand ducal gardens, like the one of the Medici villa in Castello. Initially the gardens were directed by the botanist Luca Ghini, who had already followed, two years earlier, the Botanical Gardens of Pisa by order of the Grand Duke. The garden was improved and embellished with the 18th century collections thanks to the commitment of Cosimo III dei Medici who assigned its direction to the Florentine Botanical Society, under the direction of the famous botanist Pier Antonio Micheli. Its direction was transferred in 1783 to the "Accademia dei Georgofili" and was referred to as "Agricultural experimental garden", then renamed into "Giardino dei Semplici" in 1847 and finally into "Botanical Garden of the Upper Education Institute" in 1880.

The Gardens currently take up an area of 2.39 hectars, divided into smaller and larger avenues. The structure also has its own greenhouses and hot houses for the cultivation of special plants. The vegetable patrimony is formed by over 5,000 examples with several very old trees, some of which, such as the Taxus baccata, planted by Micheli himself round 1720, a very large cork oak planted in 1805 and never stripped, several examples of Coniferae like the Araucaria, Torreya, Sequoia and a beautiful example of Metasequoia glytostroboides, a species originally known as fossil and rediscovered in China only in 1941.

The most important collections are those comprising Cicadidae, Tillandsia, Orchids and ferns. Extremely interesting, because of its dimensions and number, is the collection of azaleas that always draws the attention of a large number of visitors during the flowering period. Even the sections dedicated to medicinal plants, cactuses and carnivorous plants are also very interesting from the didactic point of view.


The large greenhouse
Time by time an exhibition
In the garden a statue of Esculapio
Vandopsis lissochiloides
Nice pot
Pachystachys lutea
Aristolochia machrophylla
Pachystachys coccinea
Citrus aurantium bergamia (Bergamotto)
Aristolochia elegans
Pavonia multiflora
Inside the greenhouse
A very old cork oak
Pears? No, lemons...
A world of rare plants
Drosera binata
Climbing roses
Carnivorous plants
Dionaea muscipula
Hidden Italy * Bettina Röhrig * Logebachstr. 5 * D-53639 Königswinter * Germany