Day 2 in Florence has been more relaxed as we begin to develop an understanding of the landscape here. Assisted by a trusty map our destination today is il Giardino di Boboli located behind il Palazzo Pitti. Apart from nurturing our artistic side this experience will give us a breathtaking hilltop view of Florence. Il Giardino di Boboli is a good 30 minutes walk from our apartment so we decide to take our time and go down some streets and lanes that we hadn't been down before. For anyone contemplating Florence walking aimlessly through its lanes and streets is the way to go. You just don't know what you are going to find! Often a quiet lane way opens out into something magical like a piazza packed with people, pieces of ancient architecture or even simpler things such as locals stepping out of their Florentine homes and smiling or saying "bongiorno" as you walk past. Quiet lanes house boutique style stores that sell handcrafted jewellery or even simpler items such as gloves or scarfs. Markets are littered around the city in various piazzas selling all leather items such as handbags, belts and shoes. All appear to be excellent quality and reasonably priced.
Il Giardino di Boboli is a beautiful garden worthy of a few hours of our time. It is hot here. 32 degrees so finding a shady spot was a priority. From where we sat under a pine tree, we can see snippets of the lush Tuscan countryside. Early roman statues surround us and the smell in the air is clean and summery. There are few people here. It almost feels like we have the whole of Tuscany to ourselves. Most of the trip through the garden is up hill so as you can imagine Lucy has consumed her body weight in water and has complained all the way that it is hot and too far to walk and...why can't we have an ice cream and can we take a taxi home! Being responsible parents we ignored her and then after it got really annoying we offered to sell her to the next person that walked by. It didn't matter what we said, she still kept whinging. For those that have read the above and are ready to call human services, we didn't end up selling her mainly because no one would buy her so then we were left with the next option being to pay someone to take her away. No one would take her! We reached the summit of the gardens and were treated to a panoramic view of Florence. Mountains in the background were a perfect backdrop to the infinite collection of terracotta roofs that fell before. Dotted on the hills surrounding the gardens were the odd castle and winery homesteads. The view was breathtaking!
Our dinner gave us a taste of some of Tuscany's nicest food. My favourite was a starter that consisted of Porcini mushrooms on a fried polenta chip with olive oil and garlic. Johanna had a Gorgonzola risotto with a glass of proseco. Looking forward to tomorrow with a whirlwind tour of Pisa, San Gimigniano and the ancient city of Sienna.