After we visited the Duomo, we walked over to the Pitti Palace. It looked like it might start raining soon, so Mike checked
the guide to see if there was something we might want to see.
The Pitti Palace
We decided to buy a ticket to walk around the gardens.
Information from "Eyewitness Travel Guides: Italy", pages 294-295: "The Palazzo Pitti was originally built for the banker Luca Pitti. The huge scale of the building, begun in 1457 and attributed to Brunelleschi, illustrated Pitti's determination to out rival the Medici family through its display of wealth and power. Ironically, the Medici later purchased the palazzo when building costs bankrupted Pitti's heirs. In 1550, it became the main residence of the Medici, and subsequently all the rulers of the city lived here. Today, the richly decorated rooms exhibit countless treasures from the Medici collections.
The Boboli Gardens: The Boboli Gardens, a lovely place to escape the rigors of sightseeing, were laid out for the Medici after they bought the Palazzo Pitti in 1549. An excellent example of stylized Renaissance gardening, they were opened to the public in 1766. The formal parts of the garden, nearest the palazzo, consist of box-hedges clipped into symmetrical geometric patterns. These lead to wilder groves of oak and cypress trees, planted to create a contrast between artifice and nature. Countless statues adorn the gardens, particularly along the Viottolone, an avenue of cypress trees planted in 1637. High above the gardens stands the Forte di Belvedere, designed by Buontalenti in 1590 for the Medici Grand Dukes."
The entrance to the Boboli Gardens was barked by what seemed to be a giant bathtub with an obelisk behind it.
The sides of the first garden had hedges and statues.
Mike and I in front of the bathtub.
We walked up the stairs to the second garden, which had a pond with a statue of Poseidon.
View of the second garden from the next set of stairs, which led to the Forte di Belvedere.
View of the rear of the second garden, with the stairs leading further up to the rear of the Boboli Gardens.
View from the rear of the gardens: We walked up all the stairs to the Forte di Belvedere. Climbing into the fort, we got a great view of the area behind the palace.
Viottolone: Walking down the other side of the gardens led to the avenue of statues and cypress trees.
Mike and I heading to the last garden along the path.
The statue in the pond of the last garden.
End of the Day
After leaving the gardens of the Pitti Palace, we stopped at a nearby shop to buy some olive oil for friends on Long Island. We then headed back towards the main part of the city, seeking the bus station. (It had been raining slightly and we wanted to get back to the bus before the storm hit.)
Along the way, we found a church that contained the tombs of many famous people. Outside the church was this "Skinny Statue".
Along the back streets, we made our way to the bus station - and just in time! As we reached it, the rain began to fall steadily, so we took the next bus back to the hotel.