The formal gardens of Tuscany have been an integral part of the villas of Tuscany since Renaissance times when they first made their appearance as conscious attempts to create for wealthy and influential Florentines the ideal place for humanist debate, based upon ancient Roman ideals. After a period of landscape design in the English style in the 19 C (for example, Villa Monaciano), the Tuscan formal garden returned in its italianate roots in the early 20 C, this time designed mostly for wealthy foreigners, often by garden designers who were themselves foreigners, foremost among them being Cecil Pinsent.
In my post on Chianti Travel Guide about the history and culture of Tuscany, I outlined briefly the role of the garden as a seamless extension of the architecture of Tuscan villas. The practical outcome of the application of this concept are some of the most harmonious habitable spaces anywhere. Luckily for us, many of these villa gardens are open to the public for all or part of the year and should form an essential part of any Tuscan itinerary.
More about the formal gardens of Tuscany.