The Boboli Gardens are something that I always include on my must see list. There are not many flowers in the Italian style garden, but there is a lot to see. The climb up the stairs inside gives way to a spectacular view of Palazzo Pitti and all of Florence. The fountains and sculptures along the way make it interesting and there are different levels to stop and admire the views and take photos.
Off to the sides, there are many delightful covered paths, sheltered from the sun, and lines with sculptures along the way. Going down one side gets you to the incredible fountain with its many sculptures, and fish swimming. We saw a heron having dinner!
To the other side of the gardens you will find the smaller gardens of the Bardini Palace and the Buontalenti Grotto. Deep inside the park, you will see Italian teenagers playing soccer, or in the grass with cards. Other people go there to read, sun, picnic, or just to sit and take in the beauty. Some like to sketch the sculptures or fountains.
Caffe’ Ricchi used to be my “everyday haunt” for my morning coffee and pastry. Located in Santo Spirito it was usually my first stop on my daily rounds. Now that I don’t live in the area, I only make it over once or twice per week, and this is where I get the fabulous cheesecake. The caffe is located about midway in the piazza, and has sandwiches, gelato, coffee, and small appertivo, some primi piatti for lunch that are good and reasonable prices, and a cute little dining room with some of the greatest images of Santo Spirito around!The photos speak for themselves around the quality and variety of foods. The tabbachi shop next door sells tiles of the images of Santo Spirit and also magnets which make great gifts. Try it! Maybe I will see you there!
Figs became one of my new favorite fruits the first time I tasted them. I found the luscious green ones and have been addicted ever since. They are now out of season, that being a short 2 months, and the black figs, or Brown Mission figs are in. These are also very good, but not as sweet as the green ones. Unfortunately, in the United States you can only find these in a few states and Southern California produces 80% of them grown in the USA. They are a product of the Middle East, Northern Africa and the eastern Mediterranean.
If you ever see these or get a chance to try them, do it! Figs are one of the highest plant sources of calcium and fiber. According to USDA data for the Mission variety, dried figs are richest in fiber, copper, manganese, magnesium, potassium, calcium, and vitamin K, relative to human needs. They have smaller amounts of many other nutrients. Figs have a laxative effect and contain many antioxidants.