In my last post I mentioned my friend Julie from Texas came to visit last spring.  Being she is a huge garden and gardening enthusiast I knew exactly where to take her on our sightseeing adventures.

Piazza Michelangelo is a wonderful place to start.  It has so much to offer and diffidently the WOW factor.  It has one of the best views in Firenze. 

It also has a fabulous rose Garden.

 

Another attraction is the sculptures, 12 works by the Belgian artist Jean-Michel Folon, who passed away in 2005 and whose works were donated to the city by his widow.

The dancing frog is a great background for this photo shot.  

For 2 weeks in mid May the iris are in bloom and it is spectacular.  I was so happy with the timing of Julie’s visit.

 

There is every color and variety imaginable.

 

.Next stop, Boboli Gardens. The Gardens, directly behind the Pitti Palace, the main seat of the Medici grand dukes of Tuscany at Florence, are some of the first and most familiar formal 16th-century Italian gardens

 

 

The gardens have passed through several stages of enlargement and restructuring work. They were enlarged in the 17th century to their present extent of 45,000 meters (11 acres). The Boboli Gardens have come to form an outdoor museum of garden sculpture that includes Roman antiquities as well as 16th and 17th century works.

It so offers another breathtaking  view, that you never get tired of.

The bronze statue of Neptune (1565-1568) by Stoldo Lorenzi 

 

At the very top you are treated with the beautiful rise gardens 

 

 

Another great view, this time the hills above the gardens.

 

 

 

 

The Buontalenti Grotto in the Boboli Gardens is a fascinating place, where you feel as though you’re in a fairy tale. The Grotta di Buontalenti (also known as Grotta Grande or the Big Grotto) was built by Bernardo Buontalenti  1583 and 1593, commissioned by Francesco I de’ Medici.

 

 

 

 

 

The Bacchino fountain (1560) This fountain is located next to one of the garden’s exits (onto Piazza Pitti). It is a sculpture of a fat dwarf named Morgante sitting on a turtle. Morgante was part of the court of Cosimo I de Medici and was supposedly Cosimo’s favourite dwarf. The name ‘Bacchino’ comes from Bachus, the Greek god of wine, and Morgante is depicted as a tipsy midget.

When John and I came here on our first trip to Italy in 2001 this was his favorite, so I have to say it is my favorite as well.

A perfect ending to a perfect day. I invited four of my new friends ( Catherine Bolton, Catherine Camarda, Debra McElhaney and Lucia Ducci) in Firenze to meet Julie and I wanted her to see the nice friends  I have made here. 

Dinner was at the always good and fun Ristorante Accademia.  Gianni the owner is the perfect host.