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Torrigiani Garden

The Torrigiani garden is located between Via dei Serragli and Via del Campuccio, along a stretch of walls running along Viale Francesco Petrarca. In 1500, there was already a botanical garden belonging to the Torrigiani family in via del Campuccio. At the end of the eighteenth century, Pietro Guadagni inherited a fortune belonging to his uncle, Cardinal Luigi Torrigiani, and also took on the title of Marquis as well as the illustrious surname. At that moment, Pietro Torrigiani brought life to the large Campuccio garden, which has remained one of the very few large green areas still present within the city walls. It was designed by Luigi Cambray Digny in the early 19th century, who was later replaced by the young architect Gaetano Baccani, and it was built as a large English-style park, full of fascination linked to a world that aimed to represent the esoteric meaning of man's inner journey, a place that could connect with the visitor's soul. The presence of Arnolfo's walls enriched the project, which included small buildings, statues and botanical rarities.

The garden was vast and with a great many points of interest, so much so that it was necessary to create a guidebook for visitors to use. At the entrance, stands the statue of Osiris who holds the tables on which the rules of behaviour to be observed while visiting the park are listed. Then you come across the statues by Pio Fedi, which portray the young Pietro Torrigiani along with Seneca, and the marble column dedicated to the great botanist and mycologist Pier Antonio Micheli. Then there is Merlin's cave, the covered carousel, the garden of citrus fruits and flowers, a small and gloomy "sacred wood" that conceals the Burial ground, a symbol of the transience of life; the statues of Janus and Aesculapius, the horseman, the Hermitage, the great tower, the aviary, the lemon house and a torrent with a magnificent bridge.

The garden was so large that the "Florence Football Club", the oldest football club in Florence, was also founded there. In the middle of the large green area, the beautiful neo-Gothic tower, built by Gaetano Baccani in 1824, stands out; it is about 40 metres high, but because it is located on an artificial hillock, its visual impact is increased from many sides of Florence. The Tower, which has a visible external spiral stone staircase, was used as an astronomical observatory: it contained a library and a collection of astronomical instruments that could be used on the top of the Tower, where there is a terrace for observing the sky. However, the Tower was built symbolically with three floors, which represent the degrees of knowledge that man must face during his earthly journey. The Tower alludes to the Torrigiani family, who have a small tower with three stars on top of it in their coat of arms.

  • Progetto finanziato a valere sui fondi Legge n. 77 del 20 febbraio 2006 “Misure speciali di tutela e fruizione dei siti italiani di interesse culturale, paesaggistico e ambientale, inseriti nella “lista del patrimonio mondiale”, posti sotto la tutela dell’UNESCO”