Monday, June 30, 2014

Boboli Gardens - Medici Style

My next personal favorite gardens we’ve visited are the Boboli gardens. These gardens are located within a Medici family estate on the “new” side of Florence. This estate used to be isolated by being on the other side of Florence but over the centuries Florence grew and engulfed the estate. So this is why there is a gigantic right smack in the middle of Florence, not just because someone decided to do that recently and had the money to do so. When you walk into the gardens there are several focal points that were mainly large fountains. There was a famous grotto within the gardens that had stalactites to give it that authentic cave-like feel. A normal occurrence for Medici estates is to have citrus fruit lining the walkways throughout the gardens. There wasn’t any citrus lining the walkways, but they did have a large nursery area for their citrus that was mainly lemons and a few orange plants that I saw. There were a large variety of different species of lemons and only a couple of different species of oranges. After stopping here for a little while, we began to tour the English part of the gardens that used to be a maze in the original gardens. In this section housed the largest fountain of the estate and it was quite beautiful and tranquil. I believe it was used as a quiet place to think and meditate originally because the walkway to the center of the fountain was barricaded by a gate. There was a small “river” fountain we stumbled upon later and Dr. Lombardini informed us these were extremely popular when the estate was built because they would draw birds to the fountain and would then scare them into a net they couldn’t see behind the fountain. So they basically had an easy way to hunt game on their estate. Also, on the estate was a small vineyard. Dr. Lombardini told us these were probably the grape varieties that were originally grown here or at least a variety close to those.
Stay classy Castiglion,
Quinten Plumer

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