Dolce Primavera: Sweet Springtime in Italy

Springtime truly is sweet in Italy for so many reasons — the weather, the smaller crowds, the scents, and the sights of flowers in bloom, and let’s not forget the fresh vegetables so abundant this time of year, incorporated into mouthwatering, yet light dishes. In my humble opinion, April or springtime in Paris as the old tune says, has nothing on Italy’s dolce primavera.

Let’s start with the weather, as it’s just about perfect. Temperatures in Rome for example, are in the low to mid 70’s. Might be a bit cool for the beach, and you might need a light shawl or jacket if you’re eating outside at night, but it couldn’t be more comfortable as you are shopping along the Via del Corso or Via Condotti. And those comfortable temperatures will certainly be appreciated as you go from one museum or church to the next. If you have a busy sight-seeing agenda for Italy, and who doesn’t since, take it from yours truly, there is so much to see no matter how many times one has visited “the boot,” spring or fall. But spring especially offers the best outdoor conditions.

And what about the crowds? They’re not quite back to pre-COVID levels and even if they were, spring is a busy time in Italy, but not nearly as busy as the summer months. It’s interesting to note that during my recent visit this past March, our tour manager explained that more Italians are traveling across their homeland verses venturing out to other parts of Europe right now. That’s primarily due to the ongoing war in Ukraine. Italians are booking popular tourist areas for their upcoming summer holidays such as the Amalfi Coast, Tuscany, Sardinia, and Sicily. So, if Italy is your vacation destination, you would be wise to plan a springtime get away.

And oh, those flowers, or as they say in Italian, Fiori. There is an absolute abundance of them from mid-April through the month of May, even in the heart of urban areas such as Rome. The Eternal City has a lot to offer when it comes to putting some spring in your step, including:

  • The Spanish Steps
  • The Rose Garden
  • The Botanical Garden

 

Spanish Steps, Rome, Italy

Rome’s Spanish Steps, are a popular gathering spot, made famous in many a film, including, Roman Holiday, and transformed into what looks like a carpet of fiori that lines the grand staircase from the Piazza di Spagna all the way up to the Piazza Trinita dei Monte, and the beautiful Trinita dei Monte church. Then there is Rome’s own Rose Garden, Roseto Comunale. It’s a public rose garden on the Aventine Hill, across from the Circus Maximus. My husband and I walked by it last October, on one of our long daily strolls that we like to take in Rome. It’s lovely year-round as it’s an oasis in the middle of a major city, but I loved it last week to see it in all its glory. Over eleven hundred, yes you read correctly, eleven hundred variety of roses are grown there, and many of the bushes are gifts from other countries. Then tucked away in a corner of my favorite area of Rome is yet another feast for the springtime senses. In the Trastevere neighborhood, is the Botanical Garden run by La Sapienza, Rome’s university. There is a decent admission fee but well worth it, as it is a wonderful way to get away from the hustle and bustle without every having to leave the city. It’s home to among other things, plenty of green houses, a Japanese garden and more than 3 thousand species of plants.

 

 

 

Photo: Shutterstock: Grischa Georgiew, Lukasz Szwaj