The Boboli garden, the black cat and us

A gloomy morning in Florence.

Early in the morning, still dark outside. The street is still. The neighbours are sleeping.

The Romanian woman is outside, on her balcony,  smoking. Covered in a pink robe, the hair disheveled, squatting. The small child is screaming inside.

In a few minutes all the other windows will open and the characters will start a new day of performance.

We can go just as far as we let ourselves go, as deep we can seen, I think to myself.

The streets of Florence on a Sunday are tumultuous,  alive. Walking aimlessly, as I usually do, I look around trying to imagine how  was life seen from that level before.

What did the people do? What did they dream about? How did they live their lives?

Florence-old-map1

I wonder how will it be in the future.

Today I somehow stopped in front of the Pitti Palace. That square is one of the first places that I have seen in Florence and was attracted to.  It is a large, inclined, pebbled space where people can sit down or walk around.  Today I saw, for example, a group of men, tourists, taking pictures while jumping, as a group, in front of the building.

Palazzo pitti

The Palace is protecting an exceptional jewel inside, the Boboli Garden.

I have never been inside the Pitti Palace or the Boboli Garden. It is still expensive for me. Today something told me to just go and check the ticket counter.

I approached the forming line and saw an announcement, today it was free to visit the Garden! Can’t believe it!

After picking the free ticket, having it checked by one, two, three men along the way to the inner workings of the Palace, I look around speechless. This is kind of a big house for a family…

The construction of the palace was initiated (1440) by Luca Pitti, in competition with the Medici family. It would become one of the most impressive private residence in Florence. The Pitti family ruined itself during the construction of this giant house. Eventually, it was sold to Eleonor of Toledo, the wife of Cosimo I de’Medici. Thus, the Palace became the official residence of Medici Family, Grand Dukes of Tuscany.

But today I will just see the garden. From the main entrance, I arrive in a yard, a very beautiful circled yard. From there, up some stares, I enter the garden and the internal court of the palace.

Holy moly, this is a park, not a garden! I think to myself. You can get lost inhere.

There is a road to the left, one to the right. There are sculptures all over, fountains and what do I see, a green house where exotic trees are growing.

Where do I begin?

Those tourists over there, roaming around in groups like bees, are lucky this time, at least they have someone to guide them.

I guess I will just choose a direction and marvel along.

The trees are so high and ancient, they bring me to silence and respect. They have seen generations passing by. The alleys are large and guarded by these tall trees. The gloominess of the day is still present, but the trees breath it through and give us, the little people, air. Under the trees I feel at home.

I now find out that this garden was the starting point for Luca Pitti. The stone used for the palace, pietraforte, was excavated from the garden, that is the explanation for the hollow, the amphitheater form of the center of the garden.

The walls belonging to the nearby Belforte Fortress are embracing the garden.

I walk up and up, I want to see what is there to see when getting on the top of the world. Once arrived I take in a deep chunk of air and look around.

Holymoly again, the city is spreading  all over. I can see the river, the yellow houses, little people again. Down there in front of me, I see pale olive trees, resting during this season of rest, standing straight on the back of mild hills. Yellow houses are sprinkled here, there.

I approach the Museum of the ceramics. Again no ticket required! Inside I see ancient beautiful plates, cups and one contemporary Italian watcher who is almost black from too much tan. The blonde hair is framing an expressionless and heavy face. It gives me a heavy heart to look at her. So I do not.

The Garden contains different buildings. Very beautiful , tall buildings, I say to myself in a very little voice. To have the imagination and the power to build something of this immensity and beauty, well that is what I call courage and love. That is thinking out of the box, if I am allowed the contemporary, startups related slang.

Let me see, I have this scene in my head..

So, there is this expensive lady, dressed in a silk, wide dress, living in one the rooms inside the Palace. She announces: “I am going to take a walk in the garden, prepare the horses! Also, prepare the bath to be ready when I come back.” (She doesn’t say please or thank you because she is a countess).

Well yeah, she does need the horse! As I already told you, you might need a map to get around here. I hear the gallop further and further. And she is gone.

I turn around, what do I see, a black cat walking soundless on his cushind paws. His tail is up, the rosy nose as well. He seems invisible to all these people, talking about cheese and the last night diner, holding selfie sticks, taking look -at -me photos and screaming through their eyes “I want to be seen!”

The cat is an apparition from the times when people were admires of the quite and patient life of nature. Now, we are lost inside our minds and heavy souls.

I stop for a moment leaning on a wall, leading to the exit. I hear American English, out of an American mom talking to her little boy. I hear Spanish, Ukrainian, Russian. I hear Italian.

I see an old couple walking meters away from each other. The men, rigid and lost in thoughts is stopping only briefly to pierce the picturesque view with his hawk like gaze. The woman is following slowly, taking pictures with the ipad. She fidgets a little, turning to left, to the right.

And she lost him. She is worried, quite and cold.

I did not see everything inside the garden, or the park, according to me. There are sculptures and immensely valuable buildings that I did not see, I know.

boboli
Boboli Garden on a sunny day, not today!

But I did see and felt the majesty of their thinking, their patience and determination to spend their lives while building such beauty.

I thank them from the depth of my heart.

I hope that we, now, today and the future will have the mind and the presence of the spirit to appreciate and learn from our ancestors.

And the black cat is still there.

I go now, my back hurts but my soul is flying.

We can go just as far as we let ourselves go, as deep we can seen, I think to myself. 

 

 

 

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