Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Behind the Scenes of the Boboli Garden

Today, during our last visit to Florence, our group visited the Boboli Garden. This area was initially the palace of the Pitti family. It expanded as the Medici family moved in, and it remained the palace of this famous Italian family for the entirety of the Medici reign. To be honest, at first sight, the Pitti Palace was not as elaborate as I’d imagined!
However, right when we passed the gates, I was taken away by the beauty of the gardens behind the palace. This was the perfect opportunity to experience the three major elements of a true Italian garden. There were several points of symmetry that had a beautiful fountain as the central axis point. There were definitely multiple, beautiful hills (of which we did climb!). And lastly, the greenery was outflowing in Renaissance style patterns. Although the majority of the garden was greenery from what I could tell, we did see some splashes of color with the natural roses and some of the orange plants we saw growing along the walls. (Our professor explained that these oranges could only live along the walls due to the climate that these walls create, otherwise, they would die in the cold). We saw so many interesting concepts as we toured the garden and had the chance to see some of the in depth decision making that went into its planning. For example, we came across a Cedar tree that was clearly dead along the bottom and had bars installed to keep the tree upright. These custom bars were extremely expensive, however, the garden designer decided that it was more important to preserve the historical tree than to uproot it and replant another. Yet another interesting design element was a stacked line of fountains beside a hedge in a rather “private” part of the Medici family’s garden. Our professor explained to us that the purpose of these fountains along the hedge was to attract birds and further catch them to eat by a net on the other side of the hedge. It was so interesting to get a feel for the behind the scenes, important decisions that go into up keeping these historical gardens. All in all, the Boboli Garden was absolutely beautiful, not only due its extensive horticulture, but also due to the view of Florence it provides. I now understand why Kim Kardashian and Kanye West arranged to have their wedding there, even for 450,000 euros a day. What a great last day to spend in Florence!


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