April In Florence: A Garden Delight!

The famed poet T.S. Elliot, who wrote the line “April is the cruelest month” to begin his famous epic poem “The Waste Land”, clearly hadn’t been to Florence in April!

In fact, April is one of the most wonderful months of the year in my most wonderful home city, boasting warmer temperatures, a vibrant, awaking urban life and a torrent of blossoming gardens everywhere you look. 

Florence is a city of flowers, and April is filled with the joy and energy of spring, of new life and new possibilities. 

For visitors to Florence there are of course many wonderful museums to see, and a host of cultural “must do’s” for a stay during April. However, my strong advice is to make sure that you have plenty of time to get outside and see the joys of springtime in Florence — and that means gardens.

Here are some ideas for incorporating some of nature’s splendor into your visit:

Florence Flower Show: Occurring on April 6th and 7th, at the Corsini Garden, which is located at  via della Scala 115, gives demonstrations, workshops, and activities for children. 

The Rose Garden: Created in 1865 by Giuseppe Poggi, this beautiful garden is built into the hillside just below the Piazzale Michelangelo. It’s open all year round, but in April it is particularly beautiful as some of the hundreds of different species of roses begin to bloom. Walking through the garden is a perfect way to work your way up to the Piazzale on foot. The garden also features bronze sculptures by Belgian artist Jean-Michel Folon, and has a wonderful view of the city. 

The Bardini Garden: One of the most beautiful gardens to visit during the spring months is the Bardini Garden, which has a walkway tunnel (or pergola) that is covered with wisteria. At the beginning of April this wisteria begins to bloom, exploding with color from lilac to mauve to purple to pink. You can follow the progression of this amazing bloom from anywhere via the garden’s webcam

The Iris Garden: Visiting this garden is absolutely not to be missed, and the garden is only open during a 20-day period that begins in late April! Founded in 1957 as a showcase for various species of iris from around the world, the garden is located on the east side of Piazzale Michelangelo square. The garden is open only when the irises are in bloom, which is typically the last week of April and first several weeks of May. The garden features irises because, in fact, the symbol of Florence — the red flower on the coat of arms — is not a lily, as many believe, but an iris. This came about as a result of Florence’s founding by the ancient Romans in 59 BC during the celebrations for the Roman goddess Flora, making the native Florentine white iris flower a natural choice for the city’s symbol.

Boboli Garden: This most famous garden in Florence is a perennial favorite, and will provide a sensual natural delight any time of year. In April many of the flowers and trees will be beginning to bloom. One popular activity is to combine a visit to the Boboli Gardens with a tour of the Pitti Palace, which is right next door. 

Have fun exploring Florence’s natural beauty!