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When I started my retirement travels - the first of which was my solo overseas trip to Italy in 2009 - I wanted a way to share it with family and friends as it happened. Hence, "My Travel Journal". However I realized I wouldn't always be on a trip and wondered what to do with the blog in between times. My daughter pointed out, wisely, that travels can also include trips to the kitchen to try a new recipe, trips to visit family, trips to my neighborhood Starbucks, or a fun day trip with a friend. You're welcome to join me on any of these journeys!

P.S. I've set up separate pages for each of my major trips (see tabs above).

I recently added an "Italian Word a Day" thingie which shows up at the bottom of every page. You see the word and can click to hear it pronounced. I've been enjoying it and I think my accent is improving as time goes by.

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September 24, 2009

Tuesday in Forence and a Tour of the Boboli Gardens

Woke up to another beautiful morning. I'm so glad the 10-day forecasts I looked at as departure day approached were calling mostly for rain – it's rained once that I remember and has been blinding sun and blue skies so just think if the forecast had been mostly sunny!

I decided that I would visit the Boboli Gardens today. They are located at the Pitti Palace which was yet another Medici “home”. It's is a huge spread and was apparently the largest palace in Italy at the time it was built. The building itself, from the front at least, isn't particularly attractive – looks more like a largee municipal building, I think.

The gardens are behind the palace. There are separate tickets – one for the majority of the interior of the palace and the other for the gardens which includes a visit to the costume museum rooms and the Argenti museum rooms, which I guess are just to show off a lot of the Medici treasures. I got just the Gardens ticket and was glad I did because, being the wandering type of tourist that I am, it took me the entire day to see everything.

I met two nice “older” ladies as we were all buying our tickets. They were from Pittsburgh and it was nice to run into them, because then periodically we would come across one another again and share what we had seen so far. I don't know when they left, but I had to leave before I was ready to because my Tuesday trauma was that my rechargeable batteries went dead. My gosh, you say, didn't you have spares? Yes, I did. But it turns out they didn't have long to live and expired before I was ready. I thought “I'll just go to one of the many gift shops and get some.” No, none of museum gift shops had batteries! But I found out I could get back in on my ticket so I asked for the nearest place. Got told out the museum and to the left...down the street...so off I started. To make a long story, short, I wandered all over creation, asking everywhere did they have them “no”, did they know where I could buy them “no” or “try ...” Finally decided to just go back and see the two museums I was allowed on my ticket and forget pictures. Went into a little grocery mart directly across from the Pitti and, there, of course, were batteries.

So, back over to the Pitti, visit the costume museum (kind of wonder why it's there – they have clothes up til probably around the 1940's or so. The “treasure” museum was quite treasureful, full of the beautiful things that make you think “wouldn't it be wonderful to own just one thing like that?

One nice benefit of my trauma, was that by this time it was late afternoon, so I went back up (there's that “up” word again) and took more pictures in the afternoon light. About that “up” word, you'll recall I went up the dome yesterday. Well, I don't know how much of an idea you'll get from my pictures, but the Boboli Gardens are a constant upward struggle. There's always another level to achieve. Phew!!!

For some reason I can't figure out (again, not much in the way of English information anywhere), there is sort of a separate garden (the Biardini or something on that order) and that's where when I got to it before my batteries went dead, I almost cried – it was so breathtakingly beautiful. They were closed when I hiked back up there the second time to savor it a little longer. But I've pretty much decided that Forence is all about the views. Incredible history and art treasures and so on, but I never stop thinking “oh my gosh, look at that!"

Oh, and just in case you can't make it to the end of my pics, here's an extra little note. Ttonight at dinner I saw a quite old man in flame red pants, a huge green pinkie ring and white sandals. Quite the picture. Another man at the next table got served with a whole fish laid out on the plate and nothing else. Then for dessert he had something interesting looking so I asked the waitress what it was and it was lemon sorbet. I ordered it and it comes served in a whole frozen lemon. You have to wait a little while before you can begin to spoon it out. Neat!

So without further ado, again all pretty much in a clump, here are my Tuesday pictures. After a lot of garden and Tuscan hill type pictures, there are about 9 or 10 I took in the porcelain museum, 1 of a ceiling in the Argenti (and then I got stopped), then back to garden stuff and when you come to the first view over the city of Florence, those are from the “other” garden. I'll probably feel compelled to insert a comment here and there. Oh, and I saw other people taking pictures of themselves so I did too. That provided some good comic relief. :)

Those last few were walking to the Bardini garden.  So here come the views from and pics of those gardens...


January said...

Ooooohhhhhh...aaaaaaaahhhhhhh... It is all pretty lovely! I'm so glad you got some tree photos - you're taking after your daughter there, Mama :) Also, that porcelain portrait thing kind of gives me the creeps, but maybe that's just me. I'm so glad you're having good weather!

Mary Lynne said...

Yes, I meant to explain in my post that I was becoming obsessed with the trees here. I've always loved trees too, after all, only God can make one, but the cypress trees and those tall, tall, tall ones with the topknots almost seem to have character or something. Maybe it's jusst because they're new and strange to me...

Love, Mama

Christopher said...

Gorgeousness everywhere! Can't wait to view the large versions at home tonite (instead of on my phone!). Sorry about the batteries... It's always something! (I had to buy a new memory chip towards the end of the Russia trip, cuz I'd shot so much more than expected!)

Christopher said...

Wow, definitely better viewing at home. Those images of the Duomo in the distance are terrific. I like that cracked-head sculpture in the garden, too.

Diane Adams said...

Looks like the guy in the last photo ate more pasta than he should have. Hee! Hee! I love all the pics. What a way to visit Italy vicariously.

vrmichie said...

Fabulous gardens, fabulous trees, fabulous vistas. I think you're becoming a blogging advertisement for solo travel -- do more, see more, probably remember more than when you're walking along paying attention to your companion(s). Plus you're making it seem quite easy even if you do have a trauma every day. And while I wouldn't want to be "gifted" with the purple lady, she does seem quite pleased with herself. Looking forward to Chianti!!

Jamie said...

Hey! I totally agree with January about the porcelain portrait! And the last photo - hysterical! I didn't notice any self-portraits? Did I miss something? All are gorgeous, but the gardens are something else! The one with the little brook and fountain is my favorite. Keep 'em coming!


Jill said...

Hi ML - I think all of the pictures are great - I love the tree pics - I took alot in Hawaii because the trees were so different there - I will share those with you when you get back. I believe this man needs a blanket while he rides that turtle (LOL) WINK ;- )

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