on August 8, 2004
On the 1st terrace behind the Amphitheater are three Roman statues. On the upper level is a large fishpond surrounded by terraces planted with trees. Here is the famous Neptune Fountain. A short detour to the left leads through romantic winding alley overshadowed by ilex trees and a cypress grove, to the rococo Kaffeehaus, built in 1776(unfortunately it was closed for restoration during our visit). In the garden in front (where we enjoyed fantastic view of Florence) is the Ganymmede Fountain. From the Neptune Fountain steps continue to the top of garden and a colossal statue of Abundance. From here another breathtaking view embraces the whole city, beyond the Pittti Palace and the tower of Santo Spirito. A short double flight of steps continues to the Glardino del Cavaliere, a secluded garden on a bastion constructed by Michelangelo in 1529. The fountain has three monkeys and a cupid. The view the terrace is awesome, embracing the outskirts of the city. On the left is the bastion of Forte di Belvedere, then, behind a group of cypresses, San Miniato with its tower. To the right is the residential area of Bobolino beside a splendid stretch of the city wails. Here, in the Casino Cavaliere, you will find the Museo delle Porcellane (Chinaware museum). Admission to the garden includes the museum as well. Do not miss the museum.
The flight of steps brought us down between Muses to the Prato dell' Uccellare, with a grove of cedars of Lebanon. To the left the magnificent long Vittolone descends steeply through the gardens. The majestic cypress avenue is lined with marvelous statues. A path left ends at a colossal bust of Jupiter. Alfonso Parigi laid out Isolotto, the fountain island, in 1618. It is a circular moat with fine sculptural decorations and a copy of Giambologna's Fountain of Oceanus (original in the Bargello. In the niches in the surrounding hedge are restored 17 century statues.
A path turns right and continues past more greenhouses to emerge by the charming 18th century Meridiana of Palazzo Pitti wing (with the Costume Museum, closed during our visit).
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