Florence, I love you. I wish I spent a whole week here exploring...
The beautiful view from the Ponte Vecchio. Can it look more Italian? The beautiful poplars on the top of the hill...*sigh*
We crossed the bridge, walked up to this next bridge you see in the above image, turned right and made our way back to the main street on this side of the Arno.
Walking up to the Giardini di Boboli (Boboli Gardens), I was relieved that Charlie would be able to get out the pram and have a run around. I had read in a guidebook (Lonely Planet you are in trouble) that this was a great place for kids to explore and release some energy. I think the exact quote was, 'to give kids space to run around, head to the Giardino di Boboli'.
As we enjoyed the amazing view from the back of the entrance to the gardens, right down to the Duomo in central Florence sticking up out of the skyline, we decided to let the little man loose. Oh he was so excited. We made sure not to let him on the manicured lawns of course, but up the top of the steps there was a lovely lake and some little tracks that headed into the depths of the gardens. I should have noticed that no one else was walking on the grass. It was not manicured and in fact was weedy, long and patchy. So Charlie had a run on the grass and I took off my sandals to feel the softness beneath my toes on a lovely summer's day.
Note to self...this is not our beautiful Kings Park where people lay all over the beautiful manicured gardens and enjoy themselves...the children frolicking around. You guessed it, we got told off! By a very flustered woman waving her arms at Charlie as he sat on a little grassy hill. I got a wee bit annoyed with her. I realise it isn't her fault and I can completely understand keeping him off the posh gardens but this bit of crappy weed-filled grass? Seriously??
In my spiteful nature (sorry but I can be like that sometimes), I said right that's it - let's get out of here. So as soon as we had entered the paradise, we left. This was a point in my journey that I realised we have it SO GOOD in Perth. Kids have playgrounds and parks all over the place. There was nothing that I could find in Italy, even out of the city centres. The best place for him was Castiglioncello, with a little playground, funfair and gelati shop all wrapped into one :)
As we left, I made sure Charlie ran all over the pathways, just to expend as much energy as possible. He can't hurt gravel.
As we entered the main part of Florence centre again, I amused myself by doing a bit of shopping. It always makes you feel better! Then we spotted this very talented man doing chalk drawings on the street. Love this version of Madonna and Child ;)
We got up early the next day for some last tasty treats from near Piazza della Signoria and to take some pics of the amazing Duomo before we left for Siena.