Tuesday was the only day this week that I had even an ounce of flexibility and in order to get some fresh air and enjoy a little calm before the storm, I took t-man to the rose garden in Florence aka giardino delle rose to see the beautiful flowers in full bloom. May is absolutely the optimum time to head to this tranquil stunning garden located underneath Piazzale Michelangelo and it was the first time I had actually been there when the flowers were at their best. I can honestly say, despite having no talented ‘green thumb’ ( I am closer to killing two plants we currently own) that the grinch himself would love this place. It’s free, you can bring a book or a friend and while away the hours with a view of the city that would cost 15 euros a drink at a fancy Florentine hotel.
I was curious about how this garden came to be, so after doing some research online I found this out:
In 1865 Florence new Italian capital city, asked the architect Giuseppe Poggi to renew and enlarge the town also planning new important things on the left bank of the river Arno. Among important settings as the new avenues around the city, Poggi planned Piazzale Michelangelo and on the opposite side of Iris Garden, he planned a particular garden all devoted to the roses. Here you can find ancient roses, new kinds of this flowers, and a Japanese garden which was given by Koadai-Ji Temple in Kioto to the town of Florence. All in full quiet and in front of one of the most amazing view you can have in Florence.
Keeping to the artistic tradition of the city, in 2003 world-famous Belgian artist Jean Michel Folon provided 12 bronze statues to be placed in various spots throughout the garden which really adds to the tranquil sereneness. His art sought to connect man with nature and my personal favorite statue is of a man on a bench reading a book, perhaps in anticipation of a visit from a friend or maybe he wishes to be left alone engrossed in his novel. Who knows? Many tourists (and t-man) enjoy using it as a fun photo-op.
There is a special Japanese section of the garden called Shorai-Teien which was donated by Zen Temple Kodai-Ji of Kyoto, Japan in June 1, 1998 as a sign of friendship between the inhabitants of Florence and Kyoto. It’s really peaceful and to me perfectly embodies the poetic soul of a traditional Japanese garden. One example is the pine tree; which is considered an important element of a Japanese garden, the importance being that it remains always green and does not change in any season. thus associated with the idea of being indestructible. I love that analogy, and I love this garden. Sigh