Jacque (daughter extraordinaire, and my travel partner that December 2007) and I, had been wandering in the Boboli Gardens for a few hours. The Florentine sun was setting and the shadows were lengthening and the December chill was becoming harder and harder to ignore. Yet, although closing time was looming and we were freezing, we hated to leave il Giardino di Boboli. The fountains and grottos and statues and pathways and secret nooks and lovely formal gardens enchanted us completely.
And, although time was running out, the Isolotto still beckoned! The “Little Island” and its basin lie at the southwest area of the gardens. Consistent with the frigid temperatures, we discovered the basin was almost completely covered by green ice. Our only companions were a couple of brave ducks, comfortable in their downy coats, paddling in the small bits of green water available where the ice had broken through.
After a few seconds of exploring the Isolotto, we realized that we and our duck friends were not alone after all. For, along the water’s edge, lay grotesque sculptures with larger than life personalities.
Jacque’s imitations of some of the grotesques proved the perfect final act to the perfect Florentine day and our smiles ultimately overshadowed our shivers!