What do you do when you’ve already been to a place several times and you’ve got some time to kill? Recently I found myself again in Florence because of work and I had no idea what to do with a couple of hours of free time. I had lunch and absolutely no plans for my free afternoon. So I just kept walking when I left the restaurant. I wasn’t really walking in the unknown direction because I have actually walked down that street previously but after a couple of turns I saw something new in the distance. A grey tower. I came closer and saw that it was the oldest Anglican church in Florence. How funny that I manage to find English things wherever I go. 🙂
But I didn’t remember the name of the church and when I tried to find it on Google for the purpose of this post I couldn’t. There wasn’t such church on the map and when I googled Anglican church in Florence the search engine gave me a different result. After quite a bit of the research I found my mystery church. It is the Holy Trinity church which was acquired by the Waldesians in 1967. It was the first Anglican church in Florence built in the first half of the nineteenth century by Domenico Giraldi. Only fifty years later the English expat community of Florence decided to rebuilt the church in an English perpendicular style to designs by George Frederick Bodley. There are statues of St John the Baptist, King David, St Alban, St Augustine, St Stephen, St George, St Andrew and St Patrick on the grey church tower. The main English church today is St Mark’s English Church.
After admiring the marble statues of the saints on the church tower I crossed the street and saw a park and thought that I might sit there for a while and enjoy the sunshine. But this park wasn’t actually an ordinary park; it was the Botanical garden of Florence and so I decided to visit it. The entry cost me only 3 euros. I walked around the botanical garden, sat and soaked up the sun and then explored some more. In the end I decided to take some photos with my phone and maybe write a few words about it for my travel blog :).
There were only a few people wandering around the garden. It was the perfect place to relax far away from the hustle and bustle of tourist crowded Florence. However, the Botanical Garden isn’t really far away from the Duomo (cathedral). It’s actually only a couple of minutes from the famous Accademia Gallery Museum where you can see the original statue of David by Michelangelo. Nevertheless, it offers peace and tranquility seldom found in beautiful but noisy Florence. It was also the first botanical garden I have ever visited.
The Botanical Garden of Florence is among the oldest botanical gardens in Italy and in the world. It was founded in 1545 by the Medici family who ruled all of Tuscany. There are hot houses and greenhouses and plots with medicinal plants and poisonous plants and rose bushes and oriental gardens and much more. October may not be the best month to visit a botanical garden but I still found a lot of interesting plants. There are also tall majestic trees and lofty palm trees and even a cocoa tree. I have never seen a pink tree trunk until this visit. It belongs to some water plant found in southern American states. The only downside of my visit was that I got bitten by mosquitoes. In October, I know! Autumn hasn’t sprinkled its lovely yellows and reds yet on the trees in this botanical garden and there weren’t many flowers in bloom so I wonder how it looks like in spring or later in the autumn. It was definitely an interesting visit and a very pleasant surprise.
The address: Museo di Storia Naturale dell’Università di Firenze – Orto Botanico “Giardino dei Semplici” , Via Micheli 3, Firenze
Have you ever been to any botanical garden?
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