The Third Garden

Fabio Ciaravella

The Third garden is a 10.000 sqm garden open to the public in the historical center of Florence on the bank of the Arno river on the area next the last part of Lungarno Serristori up to the base of Ponte alle Grazie.

The garden was created in 2012 as a quality public space intervention by the collective Studio ++ (F. Ciaravella, U. Daina, V. Fiore) to reactivate a part of Florence whose abandonment was a testament to the loss of the city’s relationship with the river.

Designing Third Garden was undertaken by subtraction, that is, by selectively cutting routes through the thick wild vegetation so as to enter a space that is at once a botanical walk, natural oasis, urban park and land art. 

The garden is divided into two parts offering different opportunities for use. The first, more open, consists of square parterres crisscrossed by diagonal paths visible from the Lungarno parapets; the second was intended to offer a more immersive experience of the Arno and its wild vegetation and is articulated in five shady rooms along the riverside that are hidden from passersby by a thick stand of reeds.
Inspired by apothecary gardens and Gilles Clément’s Third Landscape theory, this place proposes wild vegetation observation inan urban center as a new source of aesthetic, ethical and political symbolism.
In the Third Garden, the unexpected botanical variety of wild plants in the city, the symbolic perspective of Florence from down below, and the tangible vitality of an urban micro-ecosystem all reinforce the value of “minor landscapes” and become a metaphor for the potential wealth of a “third” view of the world.


Timetable and address

Lungarno Serristori (Riva d’Arno), Florence

  • always open

Events in the garden

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