by Melinda Gallo

Connecting more deeply with Florence

After a day and a half of rain, I was excited to see the sun this morning. I rarely make plans but today I decided on visiting Giardino Bardini before lunch. I hiked up the stairs through the center of the lower garden where the scent of damp grass and wet leaves on the stone walkway welcomed me. I scampered up the incline eager to smell the roses growing up the stone wall below the fruit trees. The sun warmed me up as I stood in the shade where the cool air swirled around me. For months, Iíve been hiding from the sun, but now I welcomed it.

Living in Florence :: Connecting more deeply with Florence

As I slowly walked under the pergola, I admired the hydrangea bushes to my left, the wisteria above, and Florence to my right. I smiled when I saw that some wisteria leaves had turned yellow and many brown leaves from the nearby trees had fallen on the pathway. One leaf floated to the ground in front of me while I was taking a video of the view as the church bells were ringing.

When I reached the top of the garden, I headed left toward the vegetable garden. I walked between the rows of olive trees, admiring the pink rosebuds that had only recently appeared. A few white butterflies pranced joyfully in the air around the lavender bushes, and geckos scurried away from me as I walked toward them on the grass. I ambled around each olive tree to admire its intricate trunk and branches that swayed in the wind, allowing the sunlight to flicker through the leaves and clusters of green olives.†

I sat down on a wooden bench under the Judas tree and listened to the leaves rustling in the wind. With my eyes closed, I breathed in the different odors from the garden. The patches of blue sky peeking through the fluffy white clouds as they inched across the sky filled me with joy.†After a large black bird darted across the sky, two yellow butterflies caught my attention as they danced in the air together. All the city noises I left behind blended into a low murmur as if someone had turned their volume down.

I enjoy spending time in the Giardino Bardini because I can not only take a break from the goings-on in the city, but also tap into Florenceís vibrant and natural energy that nurtures not only all the trees, bushes, grass, and flowers†but also me. Living in Florence can be intense with all the input invading my senses. The gardens allow me a few moments of respite where I can let beauty, delight, and wonder gently pull my attention and uplift me.

My visits to Florenceís gardens are precious. They allow me to slow down, interact more from my heart, tap into my inner peace, and connect more deeply with Florence. Not only the Florence I can see, but the Florence I can feel.

Share your comments for this blog post on the Living in Florence's Facebook page. Grazie!