Knowing it was our last day in we decided to visit the Boboli Gardens another point recommended by our tourist information lady. Being old hands at this ticket thing this time we used the one machine that dispenses local bus and tram tickets – easily done and left us feeling very pleased with ourselves about how far we have come in our travels. Back on bus number 12 and enjoying the scenery. We got off at an old favourite of ours the Arch at Piazza della Calza, we drove through it as we returned the hire car, so nice to be able to enjoy the stroll around the roads knowing that you don’t have to deal with the Italian drivers.
A bit of a false start as we initially entered the gardens thinking there would be a path through, no no no – we needed to go through the entry gate and pay for the opportunity 10 Euros each. These gardens were a little more wild in their appearance but free to the pubic and a lovely spot for a stroll, there was also a small playground – nice. Lots of folks walking their dogs too.
Back to the Boboli Gardens, lovely and very large are the words that come to mind. We entered at the Castle arch point then traversed for a number of hours up hill and down dale, often following a pathway only to find that it was closed to the public and that we needed to back track. Beautiful little rooms have been created, lovely fountains, a moated garden called L’Isolotto (Little Island), an Orangery, the Viottolone – an avenue of cypress trees, an Amphitheatre and the La Grotto Grande.
Our tickets did include the Porcelain Museum which was lovely, featuring pieces dating back as far as 1700’s and 1800’s mostly from Naples, Venice and Germany. There was even some from Napoleone Bonaparte’s collection.
The avenue of cypress trees, were planted in 1612 and lined with classical statues. This avenue takes you up to the central point where there are the most fantastic views over the city.
The view of the Palazzo Pitti is fantastic, and the palace gardens are immaculate.
Statues, Grotto’s and flowerbeds abound.
Lots of gorgeous things to see and explore finally ending back at the Palace courtyard. As we were already in the Palace walls at this point we could have waltzed into the ticket area and purchased another ticket to see the Galleries of Modern Art , Costumes, Palatine and the Royal Apartments but John announced that he was tired, hungry and over museums. He has a cold/cough and is feeling a little miserable – he needed feeding. We agreed to head to the Mercato and see if we could grab something to eat as it was 4pm and not sure if it would be open. Winner winner it was so pasta it was for us. I loved the idea that they had what looked like fryers but were boiling pots – they put the pasta in the basket & dipped into the boiling water and hey presto the pasta is cooked to perfection. Not exactly silver service but it was nice, while eating out late lunch we both agreed that we were ready to go home. We have loved our time away but are now ready for home. Funny when I left Finland I wasn’t ready but each time since I have been ready as to quote Dorothy “there is no place like home”.
We will both be really glad to leave the smokers, cigarette buts everywhere, graffiti and those praying on others to make money.
We hunted down the Hard Rock Cafe in search of something for Matthew, that found and off we headed home, time to pack.
Florence is very beautiful and very much the Princess or perhaps Queen to the other towns – really the jewel in the crown. Such displays of wealth – particularly visible in the Duomo & Baptistry with the marble – the green and white marble is everywhere, such a statement – beauty and wealth in all that they have and do. Even the graffiti is less visible here than places like Milan.
It has been grand – but now it is time to head home – “I still call Australia home”. (Maybe Finland too) but for now take me home as I click my red slippers as “there is no place like home”.
See you in a while crocodile.