Field of Science

Giardino di Villa Camberaia - Botanical Geek Tour adventures in Tuscany

Some guide book somewhere mentioned that the garden of the Villa Camberaia perched high in the hills above Florence as a great destination for garden lovers.  Well, you know the botanical geek tour squad will try their best to get the straight dope for our faithful readers. Without any particular agenda today, the villa's location was easily found on Via del Rosselino outside of the little town of Settignano. What better than a little botanical adventure a bit off the beaten tourist track. Coming from the south rather than from Florence our brilliant naviguessing found the Via del Rosselino without any problems, except for one; our approach was from the "back" end of the "street". Our Fiat rental car was just much too wide for the high walled, tight-turned "road" (translation - four foot wide goat path).  At one point, with the rear-view mirrors folded inward, there was an whole 7-8 cm on one side and maybe 1.5 cm clearance on the other side. It was amazing! TPP thought we'd have to return the keys to the car rental people and tell them, "Your car is wedged between two rock walls up in Settignano", where upon TPP figured a prohibition about driving in such places was in the fine print of the rental agreement somewhere. Then it occurred to a passenger that no one was getting out of a car so wedged anyways. So the only recourse was to forge onward at a blazing speed of 2 km/hr or so and hope for the best.  These are the kind of roads where you use your car horn to announce your presence because if two vehicles met, one was going to have to back up until you found some place to get out of the way. Why do they make Fiats so big and wide? One corner was so tight it took 5 forward and back maneuvers to make the turn, and the many-colored paint splotched rock by the driver's door was a testament to the number of drivers who failed this test. Here's an image of the final approach to the villa just so you can begin to visualize this road. This is not a driveway, but the main road through this entire "subdivision"!  Beep! Beep! What a place for a botanist from the flat lands! BTW, apparently most visitors walk up from the town having ridden the bus that far. So is it worth it to try to find and visit this garden? The BGT team cannot say; the garden was closed until August 16th! And of course today was the 15th! Can you believe it? The team drove home and made pizza.

1 comment:

Larissa said...

oh man - good thing I'd gone home already. I would have lost my mind on that road.