Horti Leonini

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Horti Leonini date back to the period immediately following the long war that ended with the fall of the Republic of Siena, in 1558. This facility was built by Diomede Leoni in conjunction with the restoration of the ancient walls. Monsignor Lattanzi, on November 8, 1581, wrote that “Inside Terra nostra di San Quirico, already spoiled by the war, Diomede Leoni was the first to restore the ruins and make some of his gardens called “Leonini”, that decorate once again that very place, and offer some comforts to the travellers…“.
Horti Leonini was thus created as a public garden and a resting facility for wayfarers.

The garden covers an area of 3.41 acres and is structured on two levels: a lower one with boxwood frames (Buxus sempervirens), and the upper one made of holm oaks (Quercus ilex). There’s a central axis along an impressive staircase that leads from the entrance floor to the upper area of the garden: to mark the boundary between the two areas, a table with a two-faced sculpture of Janus was inserted.
At the centre of the parterre and the box flower beds, there is a statue of Cosimo III de’ Medici, made in 1688 by Giuseppe Mazzuoli, commissioned by Cardinal Flavio Chigi, along with several Latin inscriptions written by Diomede Leoni himself.

From the entrance to the garden and along the left side runs a row of holm oaks, at the bottom of which is there’s the Rose Garden. The latter occupies a small space overlooking Pieve di Santa Maria, near the end of Horti Leonini.

The Department of Plant Biology of the University of Florence has catalogued 313 trees and 156 hedges in this garden; there are many laurustines (Viburnum tinus) and cypresses (Cupressus spp. ).
Each year, Horti Leonini hosts the sculpture exhibition “Forme nel Verde”, an event that promotes contemporary artistic additions to the historic green area.

This post is also available in: Italiano (Italian)


Piazza della Libertà - 53027 San Quirico d'Orcia(SI)

0577 897506

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