Escape to the Best City Parks of Florence, Rome, Milan to Beat the Heat

It’s the best way to escape from the heat and crowds in Italy’s big cities than to go to a park. These are our top picks for the most beautiful and accessible green spaces in Rome, Milan, and Florence. Bonus: These parks can be used for more than just jogging or picnicking. Many Italians use them on weekends and it’s great for people-watching.

Florence

Villa Bardini Gardens. The gardens were closed for many decades and reopened only in 2005. This is partly why they aren’t as well-known as the Boboli Gardens (below). They are more tranquil and beautiful, with statues and a Baroque staircase and stunning views of the city. Entrance to the Boboli Gardens and Costume Gallery, Silver Museum and Porcelain Museum is included in the entry fee of 10 euros. For the location of the Villa Bardini Gardens, click here.

Boboli Gardens. The only remaining green space in the city’s center, the park of 11 acres is both historic and beautiful. It was created by the Medicis in 16th-century when they took over Palazzo Pitti. Grotto del Buontalenti is a Mannerist vision featuring fake stalactites and replicas of Michelangelo’s Slaves and Giambologna’s Venus. These are more well-known than Villa Bardini so they can be more crowded. Keep going into the interior until there is some space. Entry costs 3 euros or 10 euros if you combine it with Villa Bardini and other sights (see below). Click here to see the location for the Boboli Gardens.


Milan

Giardini Pubblici. It is Milan’s most beautiful park. It was designed by the 18th-century architect who also designed La Scala. It’s now a beautiful green space with small lakes and avenues. The Museum of Natural History and a planetarium make it a great place for children. The Giardini della Villa Reale are just across the street. They have swings and a small pond. Children under 13 years old are not allowed to enter unless accompanied by an adult. Click here to see the location for Milan’s Public Gardens.

Parco Sempione. Parco Sempione is located in central Milan. It offers plenty of green space and opportunities for people-watching as well as some of the top sights such the Triennale or the Torre Branca. The Torre Branca offers one of the most spectacular views of Milan. It can feel a bit sleazy in certain corners, but it is best to visit on weekends when everyone else is there. Click here to see the location for Milan’s Parco Sempione.

Rome

Villa Borghese. Villa Borghese, Rome’s answer for Central Park, dates back to the 17th century when it was used as a playground by the Borghese family, who were a noble and pope-producing family. Tourists and locals alike enjoy the tree-lined green spaces and jogging paths. They also enjoy picnicking and pedaling their funny 4- and 5-person contraptions. ).

This is where you can people-watch, take in the views of Piazza del Popolo, or visit one of the many top-quality museums within the park, such as the Galleria Borghese. Below, part of the Galleria Borghese gardens. Click here to see the location for the Borghese garden.

Villa Celimontana. Just across from Palatine Hill is the Celian Hill. Here you will find Rome’s most tranquil park in the whole centro. It was first created in 16 century by the Mattei family. Today, it is a sanctuary for locals and tourists only.

The view from the top of the hill overlooks Rome’s south neighborhoods, Caracalla’s imposing Baths, as well as a lot of shade. There are also decorative statues and an obsidian. In the summer, a well-known jazz festival is held here. A large area of the park is transformed into a resort in summer. You can click here to find the entrance of Villa Celimontana.