Today I am taking you on a outing to the most peaceful place in Florence (which ironically enough is mere yards away from one of the more touristy) – The Rose Garden!
Now a friend of mine who I met here last summer told me about this wonderful place and I am sorry that I waited this long to follow her recommendation. I guess part of me wondered how great can a garden right below the famous Piazzale Michelangelo lookout point be? I mean the view from the piazza is great, but it’s also covered in tourists and hawkers (boxers depicting the bottom half of David anyone?). Well, was I wrong! Just by walking down some stairs off the piazza, you make your way into a beautiful and peaceful (and free!) garden. It seems that from the lack of tourists and tranquil atmosphere that this garden must not be touted in/by many tour guides…
The garden was created in 1865 by Giuseppe Poggi, who also designed the piazzale. In 1998 a small Japanese garden was added through a gift from Florence’s sister-city, Kyoto. I’ve read that there are about 350 varieties of roses in the garden! Unfortunately, the roses at this time are mere buds, so I’ll have to return in a month or so to see/photograph those (all of the green flowerless bushes you see in the photos are full of buds). However, there were plenty of other wonderful plants in full bloom, including the pictured wisteria, as well as many varieties of fruit trees and more. There are also 11 modern art statues by Belgian artist Jean-Michel Folon. And, maybe the best part of all is all of the benches scattered throughout so that you can sit and relax and take in the beautiful scenery and quiet from a variety of vantage points (or, as the man pictured, read a book). Even the neighbors seem to be in the spirit – notice the house literally bathed in flowers you can see from the garden (below). Overall, this garden is a wonderful oasis in a usually chaotic city! Enjoy… (sorry, I always seem to take photos when it’s overcast, and this past week it was actually mostly sunny for a change!)