For some reason this afternoon I got thinking about the Gulistan, the revered Persian poem by Sa’di. As fate would have it, I had the chance to visit the mausoleum of Sa’di in Shiraz Iran in 2000, a wonderful garden / memorial for this great poet of gardens.
Gulistan means rose-garden (or so the translators inform me, my Farsi being non-existent), which got me thinking of gardens here in the area near Levanto. Aside from the garden that my wife is cultivating in our back yard, and which promises to become truly great in the years to come, the most wonderful garden spot that I know here is the Punta Bonfiglio in Manarola, Cinque Terre.
Located on a ridge on the north side of the Manarola bay, about a 3 minute walk from the harbor, this spot offers gorgeous views of the coastline, green spaces for sitting, flowers and flowering trees, picnic tables, and even a statue of a girl holding a bunch of grapes. It is a little piece of paradise, highly recommended as a place to get away (though only slightly) from the crowds down below.
It’s also situated just next to the cemetery of Manarola, which in itself should be an indication of its beautiful location, since the cemeteries in this part of the world are always positioned up high with a great view of the sea. As one man once explained to me, the best seat in the house is always reserved for our ancestors …