Thursday, December 14, 2017

Gardens of Palazzo Corsini al Prato

Palazzo Corsini al Prato by Bernardo Buontalenti, Via il Prato, Florence
Gardens of Palazzo Corsini al Prato
Via il Prato
Florence, April 2017

“Adjoining the palazzo designed and begun by Bernardo Buontalenti in the late 16th century for Alessandro Acciaioli, the garden was completed on a plan by Gherardo Silvani in the following century. Originally conceived to apportion greater space to the experimental cultivations of Acciaioli, a great lover of botany, it was transformed into an Italian garden when it became property of Filippo di Lorenzo Corsini in 1621. Still today, the garden is divided into two parts by a lane lined by a series of statues on bases that gradually decrease in height, so as to give the perspective view an effect of greater depth. The regular shaped beds are made up of box hedges and decorated with potted citrus trees. At the end of the 16th century, Agostino Del Riccio reported the presence of one of the first examples of ‘bamia’ or arboreal althaea (Hybiscus syriacus). In the early 19th century, Antonietta Waldstatten Corsini transformed part of the English garden by realising a small hill, a lake, and several small woods traversed by winding paths. In addition to the Italian garden flower-beds, there are two lemon-houses for sheltering the potted citrus trees and a ‘carro matto’, a wooden instrument for raising and transporting vases. The garden also has a lawn with century-old linden trees and a vegetable garden-orchard, which is one of the few testimonies of agricultural areas inside the city.” (Palazzo Corsini al Prato Garden, Scientific Itineraries in Tuscany)

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