Instead of being huddled with the crowds, I decided to go visit gardens to get some fresh Tuscan sun and air. First stop is Giardino di Boboli, originally designed for the Medici and located behind Pitti Palace. The Giardino Bardini is an Italian Renaissance Garden located in the hilly part of Oltarno. Opened only recently to the public, it is one of Florence‘s well kept secrets.

Of Canals & Houses

“Gracht” is the Dutch word for a canal. The canals in Amsterdam came to life in the early 1600s, after the city’s population grew beyond its medieval walls and city planners put together an ambitious design of concentric waterways for expansion by draining swampland. In 2010, UNESCO finally declared the waterways a World Heritage Site. The architectural charm of a Canal House are in the intimate details rather than in grand effects. The facades were largely uniform in size and built of brick or sandstone, with large windows. The use of decorative gables and cornices, ornate doors and varying window…