Spring 2018 activities in and around Florence

Our finest, most flowery pickings

Mary Gray
April 8, 2018 - 20:20

Spring in Florence has officially sprung: cue the mass migration to the lungarni for sunset strolls, to Boboli or the rose garden for picnics, to the bridges for gelato and picture-snapping and, finally, to the piazze for people-watching. When the novelty of warm weather wears off and the crowds start multiplying, here are some less-densely-packed destinations in and around Florence – all perfect for your fresh-air fix. 


Scandicci tulip garden

Ph. via Wanderandpick, Facebook

Scandicci goes Dutch with a sprawling garden of close to 200,000 tulips of around 70 different varieties, set up in the Castello dell'Acciaiolo park (via Pantin 63) and open daily from 10am to 7pm through April 22. With a minimum contribution of 3 euro, which will go toward park maintenance, visitors can wander freely and take home two tulips of their choosing (any additional flowers cost 1 euro apiece and will be counted at the exit). Children under 6 enter for free; dogs are welcome, provided they stay on a leash.

Although the garden is already open, an official inauguration (complete with craft beers to toast spring) will take place at 10am on April 9 in the Sala Conferenze of the Castello dell'Acciaiolo complex. 


Botanica, Lastra a Signa

7 gardens in Florence that you have to see

Beyond Boboli and more than the Cascine

It had never really dawned upon me to visit the gardens of Florence. Maybe because until recently I was still trying to avoid doing things that my mother would do.

Ph. via Botanica, Facebook

Make the trip out to Lastra a Signa for the 9th edition of Botanica, a flower and plant marketplace aimed at promoting and protecting unusual types of vegetation (April 21-22). This year's theme is "Sustainable beauty: greenery and the mitigation of environmental impact", which will steer the direction of the numerous talks and walks on the program. Highbrow horticulture themes aside, the elegant setting of Villa Caruso (via di Bellosguardo 54), its museum, and the abundance of food trucks and craft beers round out the list of reasons to visit.


Open week, NYU Florence

The limonaia at Villa La Pietra. Courtesy of NYU Florence

Verdant and regal Villa La Pietra (via Bolognese 120) is home to the campus of NYU Florence. The school's doors are opened frequently for the La Pietra Dialogues series and numerous other cultural events (by registration), but the opportunity to have a free guided visit of the grounds and the Acton family art collection only comes twice a year. Spring 2018 Open Week will run from April 16 to 21; booking is mandatory and space is limited.



Iris garden

Passionate "green thumbs" Flaminia Specht and Nita Stross Radicati founded this gem of a garden in 1954, planning to host an annual competition (the "Premio Firenze") highlighting the finest iris varieties. The contest continues today, but you don't have to be an expert cultivator to stop by: from April 25 to May 20, the garden will be open for free visits (weekdays, 10am-1pm and 3-7.30pm; Saturdays and Sundays, 10am-7.30pm uninterrupted; access it from viale Michelangelo 82). Worth noting: the volunteer-run space is open year-round upon reservation, but this stretch of springtime is by far its finest hour.







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