Discover the best things to do in Florence in Spring. Visit the city’s famous gardens, walk in the cool hills or take in a church with a view. Then go on the hunt for the best gelato in town.
Spring has finally arrived. The days get longer and warmer and the city puts on its best face, inviting visitors to spend the day outside. So get out there and see how Florence puts a spring in its step.
The best things to do in Florence in Spring – Find your feet
Walking is the best way to see Florence. If you don’t mind stretching your legs, you can get pretty much everywhere in the city without ever getting in a car or a bus.
In Spring, the temperature is perfect for walking, so it’s the perfect chance to get out and see the sights on foot. If you’re new to the city a guided walking tour can be a good idea to help you get your bearings and give you a bit of context to what you’re looking at.
A tour like the Best of Florence Walking Tour is a perfect introduction to the city and includes entrance to the Accademia (where you’ll see the real Statue of David) and the possibility to skip the line at the entrance. The tour itself lasts three hours and you’ll get to see everything from the Duomo to Piazza Signoria and the Porcellino.
Visit Boboli Gardens
The most famous of Florence’s gardens, Boboli offers long relaxing walks along tree-lined avenues. You can’t take picnics unfortunately, but you can enjoy the old-world atmosphere and the green spaces of this Italianate Renaissance garden. There are beautiful fountains, statues and views that the Medici themselves enjoyed at the height of their power. Take it easy and look for a quiet spot under the shade of the many trees.
And if you’re up for a bit of fine art, why not explore the nearby Pitti Palace Museum? If you’d like to see the gardens in more detail, a Garden of Florence walking tour might be just the ticket. A experienced guide will lead you around Bobboli and Bardini gardens and explain their history and theories behind the Renaissance gardens.
Walk up to the Rose Garden:
In the mood for a bit of exercise? Then a visit to the Rose Garden (Giardino delle Rose) is one of the best things to do in Florence, especially in May, when the roses are in full bloom and the air is filled with their fragrance. The garden is free and hosts a permanent contemporary art exhibition, that adds extra charm to the stunning view over Florence. You’ll find the garden on the hill that rises up to Piazzale Michelangelo. It’s a steep walk but totally worthwhile.
Entrance: from Viale dei Poggi or from San Niccolò, taking the stairs that start from the gate Porta San Miniato. This second option is shorter but steeper.
If you happen to travel during the Easter break, find out about the Easter traditions in Florence!
Another garden on this side of the river Arno that’s well worth a visit, is Villa Bardini Garden. Highlights include the impressive wisteria pergola (come in April to enjoy it at its best) and the gorgeous view over the city. It’s around 15 minutes from the Ponte Vecchio. Entrance fee: €10, including the exhibitions hosted in the Villa.
For the Villa the entrance is from Costa San Giorgio 2. There’s another access directly to the gardens in Via dei Bardi, 1(red).
Visit the scenic San Miniato Church
The Rose Garden is on the way to Piazzale Michelangelo, the huge terrace overlooking Florence with a glorious view of the city. You can carry on the walk from the Rose Garden by climbing the stairs towards Piazzale Michelangelo. Alternatively get a direct bus (number 12 or 13) from the city centre if you’re not in the mood for walking uphill. Once you get to Piazzale Michelangelo, a few more steps will take you to the unmissable Church of San Miniato al Monte.
A visit to this church can be a truly rewarding experience, all the more because it’s completely free and less crowded than other city attractions. A fine example of Romanesque style, San Miniato al Monte boasts a luminous façade, an interesting interior and beautiful mosaics. From up on the hill it dominates the panorama – a peaceful place far from the hustle and bustle of the centre.
Looking for the best gelato in town:
After all that walking why not reward yourself with a genuine Florentine gelato. It’s one of the best things to do in Florence in Spring and pretty much any other time of the year.
There are flavours for every taste, from the traditional to the more adventurous. Mind you, not all ice creams are created equal. So try a few different gelaterie and decide for yourself which place serves the best Florentine gelato?
One that’s become all the rage in the past few years is Grom, in via del Campanile right behind the Duomo. Or try the Gelateria de’ Neri, near Piazza Signoria, with both classic and more innovative flavours. And don’t forget the historical Gelateria Vivoli near Santa Croce Square.
If you found this article helpful, have a look at these other fascinating ways to spend your time in Florence. We can also tell you everything you need to know about the city’s best parks and gardens,