Back to Previous

“Living La Dolce Vita--Bringing the Passion, Laughter, and Serenity of Italian Gardens to Your Own”

  • overview

    Doug Bayley, Vice-president, and Chair of the Grounds Committee, Bloedel Reserve, Bainbridge Island presents “Living La Dolce Vita--Bringing the Passion, Laughter, and Serenity of Italian Gardens to Your Own”.


    The gorgeous talk will cover mostly gardens in and around Florence, Italy, as they illustrate Italian gardening and culture since the 15th century. It has been a showplace for leather, wool, and trade since Roman times. Great fortunes were been built up based on trade and political power followed the wealth. A number of great clans competed for distinction, and the richest were the Medici, who became the ruling family. They came to dominate the other families and often confiscated their estates in the countryside around Florence. Often just large county houses, they fortified them and built great gardens as their power spread.

    Now, these gardens and palaces have been restored and can be visited. Italian Gardens share many characteristics. The great Renaissance gardens around Rome were for show and expression of power. Vast parterres and water works highlight paths and grottos, vistas, and courtyards. In Florence, the gardens were not so vast, they have the same characteristics though, and in this last century were often restored and made more elaborate, often by expatriates, English and American. La Dolce Vita, the sweet life, is a term to love because it embraces all that life should be.

    Ordinary everyday life is meant to be lived only a moment at a time, savored and cherished with a grateful attitude.

  • map