Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Gardens and Opera

AA: This past Friday we went to Florence for the last time and visited two different Medici gardens. The were able to meet up with a man who is perusing his doctorate degree in horticulture. He showed us around a few of the main areas of the gardens and pointed out different plants that are very applicable to our lives! One of the first places we walked around was a small garden filled with real jasmine, lavender and different kinds of herbs. We then went up into another section of the gardens to see the pond where water once flowed from and irrigated the rest of the gardens. The view from up there overlooked a large portion of Florence and it was beautiful! We came back down and spent a lot of time looking at the citrus plants. The terra-cotta pots that the plants were in where the biggest pots I've never seen! Apparently, they weigh over a ton!   We were able to spot  a mutation of one of the plants that produced a fruit that was a mix of lemon and orange, the slices alternating throughout the fruit! It would have been so interesting to open it up and see the inside of it!

 Afterwards we walked over to a smaller palace that belonged to the Medici family and got to see more Italian style gardens that had for the most part stayed as close to the original design as possible! We were able to go inside the palace and take part in a short tour which I thought was really fascinating! They had most of the original furniture still in tact and still in the same location as it has always been! Each room had a different feel/theme based on who spent the most time there. We also were able to see a statue of Venus that was supposedly really rare to see being that she traveled all overt the world and was seldom in her rightful place at home.

From there we wrapped up the tour pretty quick because it was well past lunchtime and everyone was fading pretty quick, but our wonderful host didn't forget to tell us about internships that are available! I just might have to do a little more research on that!

After we got back from Florence we ventured onto Verona were we were able to try spritz, get rained on, see the opera Aida, take cool pics with the Juliet statue at her house and get a nice morning jog in all before we left to go to Venice! We had almost a whole 24 hrs in Venice to ride a water taxi, spend a few hours in Murano, have a nice dinner, see St. Mark's basilica and get utterly lost! But that's ok! I wouldn't have spent my last weekend in Italy doing anything else!

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