We had one last night at our funny little hotel room...
...with the funny little bathroom...
...and the funny little shower.
And one last evening in Florence.
We enjoyed our lasagna and spaghetti carbonara with some friends from the trip including the very entertaining Christine who met Kate from London in the elevator of her hotel and invited her to dinner with us! Who does that!?
I had difficulty keeping my mind on the dinner conversation... these street musicians had my full attention.
I am amazed by the chalk art on the streets.
I can't believe an artist will so much time and talent, just to have this swept away by the rain or a street sweeper the next day!
Potts and I took a walk to the Arnos river...
Then spent the remainder of the evening on the steps across from the Uffizi Museum listening to a solo guitar. What could be more romantic?
Tasty, yes, but OH SO STINKY! I stayed in the shop only as long as I could hold my breath! NO JOKE!
Drake attempted to take a photograph of the two of us. "Cuddle up to each other a little bit," he encouraged...
Nope, didn't work.
Don't worry, this is NOT a questionable hand gesture; Potts is teaching how to find favorable light for portraiture.
A unique altar in the Duomo.
On our way back to the farm, we stopped to photograph a local vineyard.
The owners delightedly fed us bruschetta, sheep cheese and prosciutto. We were offered a taste of their local wine as well. As you might expect there weren't many "takers" from our group of mostly Utahans.
Near Pieve a Salti is the very small village of San Giovani d'Asso. Home to only a couple hundred people, I didn't remember it being the most exciting place to photograph last time I was here.
We DID spell our names here in 2009, and that's about all I remember of the village except for one lone cypress tree.
This year we were told we should visit "the park" down the road.
What a beautiful surprise! I had NO IDEA this was here!
Randy went back to the bus to get his tripod; I kept walking...
... not really expecting to see much more than we had already seen.
Until I came to a ledge and looked down at THIS!
It honestly took my breath away.
I took the steps down and began to explore...
... all the while hoping that Randy would return
... before the sun went down.
I had this fantastic park all to myself!
Little did I know that for the past 20 minutes Potts had been frantically looking for me. He had whistled "our whistle" but he hadn't heard me whistle back. He had been running here there and everywhere trying to find me!
All the while I was leisurely enjoying my time, taking pictures as I sauntered.
By the time we found each other, he only had time for a couple of photographs.
This sign reads, "Everywhere you can see part of it. Nowhere can you see all of it."
A very fitting description of this magical spot.
Such a fascinating place! We will have to return again... together!
When we returned to our room, I searched the internet for more information.
The Bosco della Ragnaia is a woodland park and garden created by the American artist Sheppard Craige at San Giovanni d’Asso, a small town near Siena, Italy. Although some parts may appear ancient, the park is a contemporary work that began in 1996 and continues today.
Under tall oaks one may find many inscriptions that gather moss while waiting to be noticed by a visitor. Some will be familiar, others enigmatic, while yet others merely express Sheppard’s sense of whimsy. Notable built features include: an Altar to Scepticism, the Center of the Universe, and an Oracle of Yourself. The Bosco does not offer a meaning, but is, on the contrary, open to all interpretations.
Sheppard tells of a time long ago when the woods was ruled by Sages. He repeats the sonorous question with which they concluded all their incantations: Se Non Qui, Dove? (If Not Here, Where?)
“My wife often says to me: 'You spent all those years getting yourself educated; now all you do is dig in the mud’,” says Craige, who has an unnerving tendency of appearing when least expected out of the foliage, his shock of white hair and little round glasses giving him a wood-nymph air. “But this is my creation. What better thing to do with an education?”
Here is a picture of him as a child. Destined to be a gardner, maybe?