In 1865 the architect Giuseppe Poggi was commissioned by the City of Florence, which was about to become the capital of the Kingdom of Italy, to restore the left bank of the Arno. The architect had the city buy a hectare of land close to San Niccolò, between Piazzale Michelangelo and Forte Belvedere. On this terraced land, in the late 19th century, the Giardino delle Rose was born. It was entrusted to Carlo Landini, an expert in growing roses.
Today, after a dynamic rehabilitation, it can certainly be considered one of the most beautiful gardens in the city. Visiting in May, in full bloom, is thrilling, perhaps entering from the steps on via Monte alle Croci, to then be faced with the spectacle of 370 varieties of roses in bloom, some dating back to 1500.
The works of Jean-Michel Folon
Belgian artist Jean-Michel Folon, who died in 2005, remained very attached to the city of Florence thanks to an extraordinary exhibition of his works hosted at Forte Belvedere. His widow, Paola Ghiringhelli, donated ten of her husband’s sculptures in bronze and two in plaster to the City of Florence, to be displayed permanently in the Giardino delle Rose. And, thanks to this marvellous balcony in the historic centre, they will honour her husband’s desire to always be present in Florence in some way.
This location offers the panorama effect expressly sought by the artist. You can look out over Florence through Partir, the large suitcase, and admire the panorama of Santa Maria del Fiore and Palazzo Vecchio. Catch your breath on the Je me souviens bench next to Folon’s gentleman. Or even stroke the Chat, who is dozing in the rose bushes.