With only two days left in Florence I had to decide upon a visit to Fiesole or to Boboli Gardens with sunset at Piazza Michelangelo. After discussing the options with my barista I chose to stay in Florence. I would visit the garden and finish with sunset at Piazza Michelangelo which overlooks the city. It was another very hot day and the park and the piazza are on a hill on the other side of the Arno River. I decided to take the city bus to the garden and then walk up to the piazza. Boboli is an 11 acre garden next to the Pitti Palace (which I also would have liked to visit). The Pitti Palace was built in 1458 and purchased by the Medici in 1549. In 1565 Cosimo de’ Medici commissioned Vasari to design a build a corridor between the Pitti Palace and the Uffizi across the Ponte Vecchio. Vasari had begun construction of the Uffizi, office buildings for Florentine magistrates, in 1560. At the time of the design and construction of the corridor, butcher shops lined the Ponte Vecchio and the offal was dumped into the Arno River. This made an unpleasant odor and an ugly view, so at the same time, the butchers were replaced with jewelry shops – which still reside there to this day. The corridor is one meter long and is now a museum. Sadly it was closed while I was there.
Back to Boboli. It was so very hot that I didn’t explore it to the extent I would have liked. I was also considering the time with my intention to go to Piazza Michelangelo for the “golden hour”. The garden is full of art from the 1500’s all the way to modern day. There are trees centuries old and many “garden rooms”, foliage tunnels and a sloping path that leads up to a nice view of the city at the top. There are also a number of fountains and ponds. A green building at the top of the hill called “Kaffeehaus” was built in 1776 by the Lorena family. It was a place for them and their guests to enjoy a coffee with a lovely view.
As I was exiting the garden I found that in order to get to Piazza Michelangelo, one must walk all the way down to the Arno and then back up a different hill to get there. I was too spent to do it and sad that I hadn’t spent more time in the garden. So instead I had lovely dinner at the Golden View Restaurant (which I so wish I had discovered sooner, as I would have gone back several times!)