The grand Boboli Gardens are one of my favorite places in Florence, but they can be crowded. I like to start directly behind the Palazzo Pitti and climb to the top of the gardens. This section includes the Porcelein Museum and a small formal garden that overlooks the countryside just behind Florence. There I can enjoy moments of peace with beautiful views of typical Tuscan hills and olive trees. Entrance to the Museum of Ceramics is included in the ticket to the Boboli Gardens and is worth a short visit.
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The Boboli Gardens in Florence are famous for beautiful classical sculptures, sweeping vistas and the mysterious Grotto. Yet there remain many surprises to be found, even in this garden that daily bustles with thousands of cheerful tourists.
This year, record summer heat on the gravel walkways behind the grand Pitti Palace radiated right through my thin sandals. Seeking a cool drink and relief from the midday sun, I headed towards a shady lane with a solitary water fountain. Startled to find these bronze faces gazing back at me, I slurped up the cool water and imagined the hands that sculpted this bowl and the mischievous soul that conceived the elegant, elongated heads emerging through the splattering crystal. Did the artist have a spiritual message for us, or just grin with ornery delight at the prospect of surprising the weary souls who, for the next several centuries, would bend over their creation to relieve their thirst?