Hello again travel companions! Last week we chatted a bit about Rome, and my near failed attempt to recreate the Lizzie McGuire Movie. 

Then I left you on a cliffhanger! Woah!

Okay, I know that nobody noticed. That’s fine, I’m not hurt or anything… but, if anyone is keeping track. I was only actually in Rome for two days. 

The rest of my week was spent gallivanting around different Italian towns, seeing the sights and as always, taking a lot of Instagram pictures. 

Our first step out of ancient Rome was into the world of the Renaissance Garden, a place where incredibly wealthy people, bored out of their minds, would waste away the day. Thus, they needed spectacular attractions to keep their eyes entertained. Works for me! 

One such sight we stopped at, known as the Sacred Wood of Bomarzo or the Monster Park of Bomarzo, was designed in the 16th century. It was created by this Italian man, Pier Francesco Orsini, as a way to deal with the grief he felt after losing his wife. The larger than life stone carvings seemed to step out of a world that none of us could see, and one that Orisini wished to be a part of.

But, if we’re all being completely honest, I was less than impressed with our next garden spots: Villa Lante and Villa Farnese. 

Nicely carved hedges, no matter how old they are, just don’t do much for me in terms of “Wow Factor.” My mother could spend 15 hours looking at different perennials, and she’s just at our local Lowes! 

The only thing that made me all excited at Villa Lante was the cute cat I met. He was super friendly and I was incredibly excited to become his acquaintance.

Thus after seeing one cool garden, and then meeting a Wild Garden Cat at our next spot, my expectations for our final garden destination were completely up in the air. 

I could’ve taken a nap, woken up in a garden in space and simply said, “Well, the Renaissance artists were a bit out there!”

Even though I was quite literally prepared for space, I was not expecting the colossal mosaic pieces that started to consume our shadows as the bus pulled up. Nor for the multicolored pieces of glass glimmered in the sunlight. The crashing, swooshing sounds of water features that cause you quickly to forget that you’re closer to nowhere than you are to somewhere.

I literally felt like I was on drugs. 

Not that I know what that feels like! Haha… #straightedge

But, seriously…I took photos next to a boob based fountain and took many photos of my friends cupping their breasts next to a very tall statue of a lady cupping her breasts. Woo hoo!

This was the Tarot Garden designed by the French-American artist, Niki de Saint Phalle in the later part of the 20th century. Though quite a large step outside of our Renaissance Era, you could tell that this was the perfect way to end our day, as Phalle drew inspiration from the Sacred Wood of Bomarzo to create her wonderland. This was not only in her designs, but also in the reasoning behind the creation: using art as a form of escape from the depression she spent much of her life suffering from. 

The park was opened to the public in 1998, though Phalle died in 2002 of emphysema. Leaving behind a place filled with the coursing of wows and gasps; the echoes of children’s laughter as they climbed over her mystical creations. She left behind a world we can only wish to be a part of.

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