Saturday, August 7, 2010

Under an Olive Tree at Bardini Garden

I wanted to lounge under an olive tree today, because it was a tranquil lazy summer Saturday., The city is empty and quiet because everyone is "al mare". I love August in Florence because I feel like I have the city to myself. So I decided to go to my favorite wine bar, all'Antico Vinaio, for lunch, and then to The Bardini Garden, one of the many destinations on my "to visit" list.

While first enjoying a salami sandwich and a glass of Chianti, I got into a conversation with another patron, who gave me a recipe for spaghetti and speck, a Tuscan peasant pasta dish, which I can't wait to try! Then I headed up to the Garden for a delightful surprise.

There I discovered another jewel in Florence's necklace, juxtaposed high above the city behind the Bardini Museum, sandwiched between the city's medieval walls. If I ever were to own a villa, this is where it would be! The surprise panoramas at every angle were a sheer visual and sensual delight. In comparison to the Boboli Gardens, these gardens are not as expansive, but much more cozy. And unlike the Boboli Gardens, these gardens have a very ecclectic mix of sculptures ranging from ancient to contemporary, offering many scenic contrasts and a welcome relief from the antiquity that dominates the feel of Florence.

I didn't pay much attention to all the history, except to know that the gardens have been vastly restored after having been closed to the public for many years, and the original gardens contained acqueducts dating back to medieval times, which are now being used to display a vast array of fountains and waterfalls throughout the gardens.

Today, I was more interested in lazing under an olive tree rather than being distracted by all the historic details, because with all the history in Florence, it is easy to get overwhelmed and not see the big picture. So I spread out my yoga mat in an olive grove with a spectacular view of the city, listened to my favorite Italian music on my IPod, got lost in the serenity and thanked God for letting me do this