Monday, 20 January 2014

Florence - Gardens

The first (and only) sunny day we had in Florence, we went out to the Boboli Gardens next to the Pitti Palace.  It's an impressive 16th century formal garden laid out on the hills beside the Palace.  Full of sculptures and fountains and various gardens, it is more like an outdoor museum.  There was apparently no natural water source nearby and water had to be delivered from the Arno down below - a lot of engineering required for what was then a private garden.  We spent a good part of the day in the garden and the neighbouring Bardini Gardens (on the same ticket).  The Bardini is smaller but similarly filled with sculptures.  I prefer the Bardini - it's more intimate and seems to have more character.

View of the Boboli Gardens amphitheatre from the Pitti Palace

The Neptune Fountain - the sculpture was originally carved for a chariot 

The panoramic view of Florence from the top of the garden

The Bardini Gardens is adjacent to the Boboli affording many panoramic views of Florence

I like this bronze by sculptor Giobbe, 1934

The Bardini has a more intimate setting for its sculptures and fountains

We enjoyed this panoramic view of the city lunching on a terrace in the Bardini - you can see the Santa Croce Cathedral to the right.

We walked back to the Barboli after lunch and saw some more statues - some of them with strange poses.
A renaissance sculpture with a tai chi pose?  The ironical explanation is that this is an allergorical statue of Modesty, defending her virtue in a self-defense pose while losing half her clothing...hilarious!

Beautiful sculptures inside the grotto Venus behind Paris and Helen - the grotto only allowed entry at fixed times in the morning and afternoon.  We missed both times and couldn't get in, but got this long shot of the Bathing Venus through the grotto opening.


Some interesting symbolism attached to this status of the Court Dwarf Morgante sitting on the turtle that's supposed to be Cosimo the Medici.  Cosimo's motto - festina lente (more haste less speed0, hence the turtle

View from the garden outside the Porcelain Museum

A Meissen basket inside the museum

First time I'd seen a horse chestnut - there were plenty in the garden

Oceanus pouring water into the gigantic granite basin that represented the ocean.

End of a long day  

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