Thursday, April 8, 2010

Giardino dei Boboli

There are alot of beautiful places in this world. I'm proud to say that I've been to alot of them. Today I visited another. The Boboli Gardens are pretty famous for being a beautiful place and I'm going to go ahead and agree with that designation. I woke up bright and early and gathered my two apartment neighbors and the three of us walked across the Ponte Vecchio and on toward the Pitti Palace. One of my neighbors said she knew of a way to get into the gardens through the back. Apparently there was a line to get in that stretched into forever. I didn't doubt this because today was one of the most absolutely gorgeous days I've experienced so far in Italy. There wasn't a single cloud in the sky and the sun was the perfect temperature. I wore a sun dress, thats how perfect it was outside.

My neighbor took us to a place called the Bardini Palace. There was no one in line and yes, it connected into the Boboli Gardens. It was a museum with old sculptures and a portion dedicated to fashion, but the main attraction of the Bardini Palace is another garden. It was, in some ways, more beautiful than the Boboli. There aren't alot of people and so the Garden goes from being a tourist attraction to a personal experience with yourself and with nature. You walk through quaint pathways lined with boundless feilds of newly bloomed yellow flowers (my favorite color). There are sculptures hidden beneath trees and through bushes. Turn one corner and there is a fountain, turn the next and there is a stream, and everywhere you look there is the greenest grass not bursting through ugly cobblestones in tufts but swelling over every spot of that rolling Tuscan hill. You all have to know by now how much I love being in nature. I must mention it once every other post. You know how special this was for me, then.

The Bardini Gardens were tiny in comparison with the Boboli. They served as a more than sufficient precursor to the vastness of the major league garden. When we walked in I was struck immediately with a sense that the place I was roaming was full of history. I understood, somewhere in my core, that at one point those gardens were more than just another notch on the tourist-belt. Which made them more than just another notch on my tourist-belt. My friends and I immediately went into the most open area of the garden, stretching ourselves on the grass to soak to increase our surface area for maximum sun absorbtion. The field was wrapped circularly around a manmade pond. In the center of that pond was a famous Renaissance sculpture, behind the pond was another, and off in the corners were more. The trees were just showing their buds, there wasn't a breeze to stir the branches, and the sun seemed to melt into and fill up my cells. I went home with a tan. We lounged in the grass for nearly two hours, talking and enjoying one another's company. After that we went and walked through a maze of bushes, into more fields with more sculptures, up and down structures so old the stairs barely existed any longer, and onto a terrace overlooking the Florentine rose garden that opens in May.

I stepped out of the hustle and bustle of Florence and relaxed in paradise today. The dichotomy of the two is strange. It felt like I'd inserted myself into an entirely different world. It was good. I was able to have a day of girl-talk, which every female reader of mine knows is an absolute neccesity at least twice a month. I was able to catch my body up on some much needed vitamin D. I was able to get some quality personal reflection time in. Most importantly, though, I was outside. I re-charged by a vitality that only nature can do to me, and ahhhhh what a relief it was.

Thank god for my museum pass, readers, because I will absolutely be frequenting the Giardino dei Boboli. Arrivederci, for now.

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