The air is warming, trees are blooming, and flowers are popping out. Springtime comes early here, and that early arrival is one of the things I love most about Italy. The balmy temperatures, the flowers, and the joy of new life.
We’re blessed with mild winters here, but I still look forward to spring each year. And perhaps this year more than usual, as the virus lockdowns continue. Italy has been separated into three zones: red, orange, and yellow. With red, which we’re in, having the most restrictions. Once again, we can no longer leave our little town. 😥
So we welcome more than ever the fresh hope that spring always seems to bring. Starting with all the now blooming trees! The almond (like those above) and the mimosa trees are among the earliest. And we’ve been enjoying their cheery blossoms for a few weeks now. But what other things let us know that Spring really is on its way?
Other signs of the Italian Spring
🧥 The undressing of Italy
Italians have a tendency to over bundle in the colder months. They wear woolen undershirts and coats, and scarves even indoors. And in winter, mostly dark colors: black and brown and navy blue. So when you see folks in brighter colors and lighter fabrics, it’s a sure sign that spring is on the way!
🐦 Returning birds and bees
One indication that spring has come is when the migrating birds return. I look forward to the arrival of the swallows, swifts, and house martins. Lizards once again start peeking out from the rocks. And little by little bees and butterflies show up again too.
🍓 Springtime foods
We also get to enjoy the yummy foods of spring. Strawberries, asparagus, and artichokes. Plus all the feasts and festivals centered around them. So if you come in the spring, be sure to search for one. And don’t overlook the reopening of the gelato shops! (They sort of go into hibernation in the winter months.) And homemade Italian ice cream is one thing you don’t want to miss!
🌷 Flowers, flowers, flowers
Along with blossoming trees, right now we’re enjoying daffodils, crocuses, and tulips. But they’ll soon be joined myraids of others. And a great place to enjoy them are the lovely public gardens of many major cities. Don’t miss two of the most famous: Florence’s Iris Garden near Piazzale Micheangelo and Rome’s Rose Garden near the Circus Maximus.
🧺 Festivals and Holidays
Spring is also chockful of holidays. Starting on March 8 with Women’s Day. And then Liberation Day on April 25, and Labor Day on May 1, which are both picnic days rounded out with public ceremonies. And of course, with Easter and Little Easter, somewhere along the way.
☂️ Umbrellas and jackets
Our springs can have changeable weather. So always take along an umbrella and cardigan or jacket. After all, there is a reason for this Italian saying: È aprile, non ti scoprire. (It’s only April, don’t remove your jacket yet!)
Italy is beautiful any time of year. But in the Spring it’s especially lovely. Not too hot or too cold. And apart from Easter time, you usually won’t encounter huge crowds. So come on over… Spring is in the air!!
Spring… thaws the frozen fears,Aarno Davidson
mends the wounded heart
that Winter has broken.