After being in the country for a week, it was a shock to arrive on the weekend to the throngs of tourists and citizens of Florence.
We felt like seasoned travelers as we walked away from the car rental shop with others in a panic as to where they would pick up their car or drop one off. An adult Autopia of sorts.
We arrived at Casa Rabatti and were enthusiastically greeted by Marcella who remembered us from our last visit. She gave us the big room and we settled in.
The tourists were think! Marcella told us that there were no rooms available in town ,and that she had to turn many away.
We made our way to the Ponte Vecchio and crossed the Arno to the Pitti Palace.
Having been in Florence a few times, I was looking for somewhere to go and something new to see. We had opted not to visit the Boboli Gardens in the past and so I thought that today would be a good time to view them. The gardens are part of the palace land and were probably a safe place for the aristocracy to get safely out into the fresh air and exercise.
Nothing is really said about the gardens in the tour books, and though one can wander around and have some beautiful views of the City there, the view and grounds of the Piazzale Michelangelo are about the same and free! You can spend time there also in a park like atmosphere.
I was dissappointed that the Boboli was not what I had imagined it to be... We have here in San Diego, a far better Balboa Park and it is free!
Boboli Gardens, save for being palace land was in need or manicuring, unlike the English Manor gardens I have visited.
I could not get lost emotionally there.
After a rest in the shade of one of the garden's trees we were off to challenge the 463 step climb of the Dumo as it is called of Gothic Santa Maria del Fiori cathedral.
The dome of this church is the FIRST dome to ever be constructed. All domes are modeled after Brunelleschi's.
Round and round and round we went as we climbed the steps to the top. Some of you will understand when I was praising having climbed upthe stairs up to the William Wallace memorial, and thanking God that I had walked and pushed the stroller with the grand kids up Edgehill three times a walk! It helped me to scale this monster and make it with confidence!! Part of the way up into the dome there is a walkway around the inside of the dome where you can view the frescoes closely. It is one of the largest paintings of the Renaissance, a huge Last Judgement by Vasari and Zucarri.
We were all out of breath when we stepped out on to the viewing deck not only from the climb but the view! It was breathtaking!!
The outside of the church is striking,covered with pink, green, and white Tuscan marble.
Every time we walked by this beauty,it called to be photographed!