Giardino delle Rose (the Rose Garden) located on the slopes of the hill below the Piazzale Michelangelo, offers the best view of Florence. There are three ways to reach the beautiful place: First one, our favorite - from the San Niccolò Church walk up along Via Monto alle Croci.
At the fork turn left on Via San Salvatore al Monte running along the Rose Garden. You can enter the garden at the lower gate or two hundreds yards up, halfway to the Piazzale Michelangelo.
Second way – walk or drive up along Viale Giuseppe Poggi; you will see the garden’s sign on your left. Finally, you can walk down from Piazzale Michelangelo (one level / terrace below). In 1865 Florence became a capital of the Kingdom of Italy. The Municipality of Florence commissioned Giuseppe Poggi to design new public places showing the beauty of the new capital.
Giardino delle Rose became one of the first such places in 1865. Atillo Pucci designed first layout of the gardens. Today visitors will find here 1,020 types of roses with total of around 4,000 plants. The terrace in the middle of the garden divides the park in four distinct areas. Below the main terrace is the Japanese Garden. In 1998 the landscape architect Yasuo Kitayama worked here creating the Japanese Garden “Shorai” (the city of Kyoto donated some works from the Zen Temple "Kodai-Ji").
On the very top of the park you can find the Secret Garden, discover it yourself. Of course there is much more then the roses here; the cityscape, the Arno valley and the hills beyond will take your breath away. I bet you will remember the view till the end of your life. Gardino dell Rose is free but open only 6 weeks a year, May 1 through June 16 so plan you trip to Florence accordingly. During the time the gardens open seven days a week 8 AM – 8PM.