Today Italy celebrates Liberation Day, when the country was freed from the fascist regime and Nazi occupation. I live in San Niccolò and every year the local Circolo / ARCI (founded in 1957 and committed to promoting the rights of the most vulnerable) put on an incredible lunch for the neighbourhood under the San Niccolò Tower. Even though rain was forecast, the sun actually came out instead and so the piazza was filled with many people celebrating the local veterans who were there to share their experiences.
After listening to the very moving speeches and enjoying the traditional song of the Partisans, Bella Ciao, Thomas and I headed up the winding road to Piazzale Michelangelo to take advantage of the nice weather and to visit the Iris Garden.
I will admit that I have always admired the Iris Garden from afar. Only open for one month of the year, it really is worth the visit if you are in Florence late April and May. I had the pram (stroller) with me but I would recommend not taking it unless totally necessary as there are quite a few steps if you want to explore the whole garden. If not, you can also enjoy most of what the garden has to offer from the paths with no steps.
It is incredible how you can be so close to the city and yet feel so totally immersed in the country-side. There are over 150 varieties of Iris on display and the various coloured blooms really took my breath away. Scattered among the olive trees, this garden is a beautiful respite from the rush of the city. I would suggest going in the morning before the garden fills up with too many people.
A wonderful space also for children, Thomas who will be three in July was captivated by the winding paths, many steps and ponds.
I really hope to visit again before the season ends!
April 25 – May 20