Today we went to the Boboli Gardens right behind the Pitti Palace. We stayed for awhile, escaping to a large degree the tourists that are converging on the city center.
Between the lush greenery and the colorful blossoms, it was easy to relax and enjoy the clear blue sky and pleasant weather.
Throughout the gardens, we found tiny doorways cut into hedges or off in secluded corners. Unfortunately, most of them had chains blocking any entrance into the area.
There were several fountains and quite a few sculptures dotting the garden. And the views were just as spectacular as the gardens themselves. From the very minute you enter the area, you can see the Duomo and part of the Palazzo della Signoria from the hill. The higher you climb through the garden, the more of the landscape you can see.
At the highest point, we could see the rolling hills of Tuscany with all the different greens of the fields juxtaposed like the patched fragments of a quilt. From one side, I could see a fortress-like castle sitting on the top of a hill obviously some distance away.
When you tired of looking out at the landscape, you could turn around and look at the garden right before you. It was a maze of tiny hedges with children chasing each other. The walls surrounding it had flower-laden branches creeping up and spanning across it with. Instead of the gray stone beneath, you focus on the mass of yellow framing the doorway to the left or the powdery white blossoms mixing with purple rose on the right.
The cypress alley was especially beautiful. I’ve really come to like these scraggly, skinny trees, and I imagine that they will probably always remind me of my time here. A whole stretch of the gravel path leading away from the gardens was flanked on either side by cypress trees with statues placed here and there. Then, about mid-way down, we found paths canopied by arched branches.
We turned down the path to our right, taking time to enjoy the soft sunlight that filtered in between branches and through the leaves. The path was all but abandoned except for us. Between the fair weather and chirping birds, this particular spot seemed like something from a fairy tale.
I’d heard from others that it takes about two hours to make it entirely through the gardens, but I think I could have stayed there all day. It was so nice being away from the constant noise of the city and seeing some greenery. The view from my own window is rather urban.
Afterward, we tried to go to Mama’s Bakery, but alas, it was closed for the holiday. In fact, it was the same case for the new cafe we found as well as the bakery near the Duomo. Instead of brownies or cupcakes, we settled for some gelato. If you can call Italian gelato settling.
It’s always satisfying to spend some time during the day seeing something new or beautiful in Florence. It’s tempting to stay cooped up inside, but there’s so much to explore that it seems wasteful, almost disrespectful, to hide away from it. I’d say that this was a great way to spend our holiday.