WAY OF LIFE
May 20, 2021 – 10:12 AM
We’ve always been fans of picking up a panino and eat the closest panchina (bench). Now our need for nature is stronger than ever as spring fills the air and we can’t resist a quiet afternoon spent picnicking in one of Florence’s green spaces. We are all aware of the attraction of The Cascine, the largest public park in the city. Here, we’re going to show you a few where you might not have put down your picnic blanket yet, as well as popular spots that are favorites of Florentines and Florence aficionados. Parks and gardens may be closed if infection levels and overcrowding increase, so it is advisable to check the measures in place before refilling your vials.
Let’s start by checking the picnic note of Parco Albereta-Anconella on via Villamagna. With 30 acres, the park comes second behind Cascine in terms of size. With volleyball, soccer fields and climbing structures, there is enough space for sports fans. We’re here for a quieter affair, however, and there are certainly plenty of places to feast on, whether you’re the grassy type or more inclined to put cutlery on a picnic table. There is also no shortage of space for an after-meal stroll, with lakes, fountains and sculptures to admire.
Giardino Baden Powell
The exquisite and eclectic gardens of Villa Stibbert (via Federico Stibbert 26) are well worth an afternoon spent strolling and relaxing, just like its neighbor Villa Fabbricotti (via Vittorio Emanuele II) and Giardino Baden Powell. These three interconnecting parks have a secret garden feel when you walk around, not really knowing what you will encounter next. Whether it is the Egyptian temple, with its small turtle families who happily wade through the man-made pond, or the impressive villas atop carefully selected gardens, this is a place you will come back to again and again. Picnic benches are scattered with an on-site cafe if you feel like buying rather than packing your own.
Villa Vogel in Isolotto is a large park accessible via via delle Torri 23 or via Canova. Ducks fight over your leftovers and the well-paved trails mean bikes are welcome. Prepare your treats and enjoy the simple pleasure of good food in a peaceful setting.
Giardino del Parnaso ph / @ale_clikcs
Giardino dell’Orticoltura (via Vittorio Emanuele II, 4 or via Bolognese 17) is another one you’ll always see mentioned in roundups of the city’s best green spaces, and for good reason. Home to the impressive Tepidarium designed by engineer and architect Giacomo Roster in 1880 and just as idyllic a short walk away Orti del Parnaso, these gardens are not necessarily perfect for picnics as there is not an abundance of tables or benches at your disposal, but do not hesitate to join the locals lounging on the grass, snacks at the restaurant. hand.
The Oltrarno is home to Villa Strozzi and its 90,000 square meters of surrounding parks, also known as Parco del Boschetto and once the private residence of one of Florence’s most important families. Nestled in the hills, it is accessible from via Pisana, via di Monte Oliveto and via di Soffiano for picturesque picnics in the holm oak woods equipped with benches. Kids can get rid of their ice-induced sugar spike in the play area and it is advisable to stock up on mosquito repellant to avoid unwanted picnickers!
Bobolino Park (not to be confused with Boboli!) on the south side of Florence is an English park made up of three gardens that loop from viale Machiavelli to piazzale Galileo. A large, oval flower bed and rock pool serve as Instagram photo points, with a spectacular circular pool spouting water jets if you need to stay in the cool of the spray.
For a more contemporary choice, see San Donato next to the still controversial and imposing courthouse: it is a situation of love or hate. The landscaped gardens feature carefully selected tree-lined paths, with a children’s play area and circular flower beds for a slightly more unusual site for your sandwich.
Beyond the places mentioned above, you will find young Florentines and students from all over the city looking for a space to have lunch along the lungarno and enjoy a panino with a view. Piazza Santa Croce has also become a must-see place for snacking. Warning: the glow of Dante by Enrico Pazzi may discourage you pranzo.