Monday, August 29, 2011

Florence: Boboli Gardens & a Clear Water Test

I returned to the Pitti Palace today to see the Boboli Gardens with high hopes of floating postcards and/or obtaining a clear water sample. At 10 AM it was pleasantly uncrowded. I started at the Amphitheater and worked my way up many stairs to the Porcelain Museum. It was here where I saw a lovely view of Tuscany featuring.... the only swimming pool of the trip (look closely).

I followed the Viottolone/Avenue of the Cypress Trees planted in 1612 (!) down to the L'Isolotto (Little Island) to find water so putrid green, animals even didn't flock to it. The gates were close enough to where I could touch the water (but damn, the water matched the color of my bright green gloves!) had I wanted to but i did not.

Nor did I need a sign telling me I should stay away.

The stagnant water brought out the mosquitoes and I ducked off the main path to douse myself with mosquito spray (thank you portable Deep Woods Off - don't leave home without it!). When I reappeared next to the Orangery, there was a very small goldfish fountain/sculpture with the clearest water I've seen in all of Italy aside from what was in the bathroom sink before washing my clothes.

I took a sample and lots of photographs but I did not think it was an appropriate place to leave a postcard since it was a home to goldfish.

I'm thinking Cinque Terre will be the grand compromise.

After the gardens, I returned to the palace, hunted down the Costume Gallery and the Museo degli Argenti which had a special exhibition of Russian gold and silversmithing. The second floor featured a ton of ornaments, jewelery and dishware from the Medici family. I decided to go "shopping." I will take this necklace by Fiora Wiechmann in 1966 [actually I loved it so much, I'm meeting with Pat Nelson, the metals teacher at Ball State, this week to figure out how to make it)].

This display case of rings came in second.

I sneaked one blurry photograph of the best wall mural in the palace on the way out: animals on the outside of the cage looking in.

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