Villa Bardini Introduces Free Shuttle Service

The view of the Florence cityscape from Villa Bardini

Hiking up the long path to enjoy the breathtaking views that Villa Bardini offers of Florence can be exhausting, especially as the weather heats up. The Bardini complex will now provide the first monumental garden in Florence to offer a free electric shuttle service to enhancing access to breathtaking views of Florence and cultural treasures.

The service will include three stops with service every Saturday, Sunday, and public holiday until September 15. The stops will be the terminus at via de Bardi, the Baroque Staircase stop, and the Villa Bardini terminus. Departures will commence at 11 am from via de’Bardi and the last run will be at 5:30 pm, with a break from 1 to 2 pm. Presidents of Fondazione CR Firenze, Bernabò Bocca, and Fondazione Parchi Monumentali Bardini e Peyron, Jacopo Speranza, stated that this experimental service aims to facilitate the visit of elderly people and families with young children.

While visitors are enjoying the gardens, they can also explore the villa and discover the photography exhibition, “Senza Tempo,” featuring the work of Neapolitan photographer Mimmo Jodice. Jodice explores the concept of lighting and exposure in relation to his subjects, capturing timeless visions meant to transcend reality. The first floor of the exhibition pays homage to the renowned Italian sculptor Michelangelo, with a room of photographs analyzing the meaning behind Michelangelo’s works. The second floor is dedicated to 80 pieces of Jodice’s work (1964-2011), divided into six different categories. Walking through each segment, viewers find themselves surrounded by images of statuary faces, city buildings, inanimate objects, and natural environments. Open daily from 10 am to 9 pm. Full price: €10, Reduced price: €5.

The gardens surrounding Villa Bardini offer some of Florence’s most picturesque greenery, with stunning views of the city, particularly Santa Croce. The Villa was constructed in 1641 by architect Gherardo Silvani and has changed hands several times over the years, initially belonging to Francesco Manadori. During Manadori’s ownership, it was named ‘Villa Mandora’ and remained in his possession until the 19th century. Around this period, the Mozzi family, wealthy bankers and owners of the neighboring Mozzi Palace, acquired it. 

The last owner was antiques dealer Stefano Bardini, who purchased the building in 1913, from which the gardens and villa now derive their name. Many years later, in 1987, the State bought back the villa, and it was taken over by the Fondazione Cassa di Risparmio di Firenze (bank foundation) in 1998. When the foundation took charge, the villa and gardens were opened to the public (villa in 2007 and gardens in 2005).

The introduction of the free electric shuttle service at Villa Bardini marks a significant enhancement to the visitor experience, making the breathtaking views and rich cultural offerings of the complex more accessible to all. This initiative not only demonstrates a commitment to inclusivity but also honors the historical significance of the site and its enduring allure. From the lush greenery of the gardens to the captivating exhibitions within the villa, Villa Bardini continues to be a cherished destination for locals and tourists alike, inviting exploration and appreciation of Florence’s timeless beauty and heritage. (Sophia Koch)