Springtime in Florence

What makes the season so special

Bridget Babcox
April 3, 2014

The absolute best part of spring in Florence for teenagers? When I ask my friend Sam, he stares at me and responds simply, ‘The sun.’ It’s hard to deny. For some reason, everything seems happier—excuse the reference—under a beautiful Tuscan sun. And yet, there are so many other wonderful aspects of spring in Florence, traditions unique to the city itself, which make springtime here even more special.

 

Take the Florentine Easter celebration. One of the highlights of Easter in Florence is the tradition of the explosion of the cart, or the ‘Scoppio del Carro’. From the procession to piazza del Duomo to the white dove swooping out of the cathedral’s main doors and the combustion of the cart itself, the celebration adds zest to any traditional Easter Sunday. Yet the real significance of this event lies not in its excitement but in its deeper meaning. As my friend Will explains, ‘It’s really beautiful to see an entire community come together for one specific event.’ (Yes, teenagers can be sentimental.) The explosion of the cart unites Florence every Easter, as it has done for over 350 years. It is a veneration of the past that enriches the present.

 

But we can’t forget one of the most important aspects of any season, especially in Italy: the food. Not only is it now finally warm enough to comfortably eat gelato outside, but springtime in Florence brings with it an onslaught of delicious seasonal dishes. A personal (and I do believe widely shared) springtime culinary favorite is Easter-related food. To me, a holiday isn’t a holiday if some form of chocolate is not involved. My friend Elena, raised in Florence, seems to agree with me, citing her absolute favorite part of Florentine Easter to be the delicious chocolate Easter eggs. Teenagers may have aged out of enjoying the toys hidden inside of them, but we certainly are never too old for the chocolate itself. For the select few who (for whatever strange, nonsensical reason) do not like chocolate, the dove-shaped Italian Easter bread colomba pasquale is another delicious sweet-tooth satisfier.

 

You certainly don’t have to celebrate Easter religiously to enjoy the Florentine traditions that surround it. Florence teens, both natives and expats, have the best of scenarios: great weather, delicious food, a celebratory atmosphere and a sense of community unrivalled by nearly any other time of year.

 

What more could you ask for?

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