Following breakfast, we visit the Boboli Gardens, particularly remarkable for their history, their formal layout, fountains, grottoes and collection of Roman, Renaissance and Baroque sculptures. Begun in 1549, the original design was by Tribolo and included terraces and many fine deciduous trees: planes, limes, chestnuts, field maples, elms and oaks. The garden was enlarged in 1612 and an island was created as a flower and lemon garden. In spite of its long history, the Boboli Garden preserves most of its original Renaissance and Baroque layout and the fine collection of statues still remains.
We don’t have to travel very far to our next enchanting stop. The Bardini Gardens and Villa date back to the 14th-century and are something of an unknown treasure. Five years of hard work and €12m went into their restoration – and the result is simply exquisite. The flower beds blossom with fragrant roses, crocuses and mimosa; while the luxuriant oak and cypress trees play host to wood pigeons, blackbirds and robins.
Enjoy some free time in Florence this afternoon. With so many art treasures to be found here in Florence, it is difficult to know what to leave out in a short tour but if there is one unmissable visit it must be the Uffizi Gallery. The marvellous collection here spans more than 600 years and includes works by Lippi, Cimabue, Duccio, Giotto and da Vinci, along with several works by Botticelli, including his Birth of Venus, Primavera and Madonna.