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A Guide to Events Happening in Spring in Milan, Rome, Florence, and Bologna

Posted on March 18th, 2024

by Adriana ruiz


As the chill of winter melts away, Italy awakens to the gentle warmth of spring, inviting locals and travelers alike to indulge in its seasonal splendors. From the cultural and networking events in Milan to the beautiful blooms mingled with the architecture of Rome and Florence, to the Formula 1 Grand Prix in Bologna, Italy in spring is a canvas of cultural festivities, outdoor adventures, excitement, and beauty.

What to do in Milan

A Guide to Events Happening in Spring in Milan, Rome, Florence, and Bologna 1

From left to right: Parco Sempione, Teatro alla Scala, and Milano Design Fair.

Explore the city’s parks

· Parco Sempione: This is the most famous public green area in Milan, designed in the style of English gardens and located in the city center.
· Giardini della Guastalla: A historic garden near the University and the Central Synagogue, featuring a Baroque-style fish pond dating back to 1600.
· Indro Montanelli Gardens: Milan’s first public park, dedicated to the famous journalist, offers a splendid example of an English garden with precious botanical and architectural gems.
· Parco delle Cave: Known for its naturalistic value, offering a variety of flora and fauna, and a series of ponds.
· Boscoincittà: A “forest in the city” that provides a natural habitat for various species and a place for visitors to connect with nature.

The MIA Fair 2024

Attending the MIA Fair 2024 is an exciting opportunity for photography enthusiasts and professionals alike. Scheduled from April 10th to 14th, this fair is the most important art fair dedicated to photography in Italy, offering a unique approach by presenting Solo Shows and Group Shows with specific curatorial projects. Held at the Allianz MiCo in the CityLife district, the fair is not just an exhibition but a dynamic space for cultural exchange and learning. It features a wide range of photographic works, from traditional prints to experimental image-making techniques, and includes sections like the Main Section, Beyond Photography, Dialogue, Reportage, and Beyond Reportage.

Milano Design Week

The Milano Design Week 2024 is a globally renowned event that celebrates design, innovation, and creativity. Scheduled from April 16 to 21, this event transforms Milan into a hub of creativity, with exhibitions and installations scattered across the city.

Highlights:

· Salone del Mobile: The central exhibition showcasing international designers and their latest designs.
· Fuorisalone Events: A city-wide festival with exhibitions, installations, and parties happening in different districts.

Districts to Explore:

· Brera Design District: Known for a mix of modern and traditional designs.
· Isola Design District: Focuses on innovative and emerging design talents.
· Tortona Design Week: Offers immersive experiences and groundbreaking showcases.
· 5Vie Design Week: A blend of history and contemporary design.

Filarmonica della Scala 2024 Symphonic Season

The Filarmonica della Scala’s 2024 Symphonic Season in Milan is a prestigious series of concerts that showcases classical music performed by the renowned orchestra of La Scala.

The concerts will take place at the iconic Teatro alla Scala, one of the leading opera and ballet theaters in the world. This season includes performances conducted by Riccardo Chailly, with pieces by composers such as Arnold Schönberg, Anton Webern, and Alban Berg, scheduled for May 27, 29, and 30.

 

The FREE Concert for Milan

The Concerto per Milano (Concert for Milan) is a magnificent open-air classical music concert that takes place annually in the heart of Milan at the Piazza Duomo. This year, it is scheduled for June 8th at 21:30. The concert, performed by the esteemed Filarmonica della Scala, offers free admission to the public, attracting thousands of spectators to one of Italy’s most iconic landmarks. The program typically features a selection of beloved symphonies and arias from great Italian operas, and this year includes performances by the acclaimed Peruvian tenor Juan Diego Flórez.

What to do in Rome

A Guide to Events Happening in Spring in Milan, Rome, Florence, and Bologna 2

From left to right: the blooming of azaleas on the Spanish Steps, Parco degli Acquedotti, and cherry trees in Laghetto dell’Eur (Eur Pond Park).

Spring in Rome is a beautiful season to enjoy the outdoors and the blossoming of flowers. Here are some places we recommend visiting:

· The Spanish Steps (Piazza di Spagna): The blooming of azaleas on the Spanish Steps is a celebrated event, symbolizing the arrival of spring in Rome. Each year, the steps are adorned with vibrant azalea flowers, typically in full bloom from late April to early May, and they are displayed for about two weeks. The tradition dates back to the 18th century and creates a picturesque setting that attracts visitors from around the world.
· Parco degli Acquedotti: This park is a part of the Appia Antica Regional Park and is known for its ancient Roman aqueducts. In spring, the park is a lovely place to see wildflowers and the greenery surrounding the historic structures. It’s a perfect spot for a leisurely walk or a picnic amidst the ruins and natural beauty.
· Laghetto dell’Eur (Eur Pond Park): This park becomes especially beautiful between mid-March and mid-April, thanks to the cherry trees donated by Japan in 1957. It’s a perfect spot for a picnic or to embrace ‘Hanami’, the Japanese art of admiring cherry blossoms.
· Rome Botanical Gardens: A place where you can admire cherry blossoms and follow a symbolic walk through different phases of life, as per the Japanese art of landscaping.
· The gardens of the Japanese Institute in Rome: Another location to enjoy cherry blossoms and get a little taste of Japan in the Eternal City.

Romics 2024

Romics 2024, now in its XXXII edition, is a vibrant celebration of comics, animation, and games, set to take place from April 4th to April 7th at Fiera Roma. This festival offers the chance to meet your favorite artists, discover new games, and witness the creativity of cosplayers showcasing their costumes. More than just comics, Romics provides a comprehensive cultural experience that encompasses animation, cinema, and gaming.

The Italian Open

The Internazionali BNL d’Italia, also known as the Italian Open, is one of the most prestigious tennis tournaments on the ATP and WTA circuits. Held annually in Rome, it’s part of the ATP Masters 1000 and the WTA 1000 events, which are just a step below the Grand Slams in terms of ranking points and prestige.

The tournament takes place from May 6 to May 19 at the Foro Italico, a sports complex known for its monumental architecture and statues that celebrate the history of sport in Italy. It offers a chance to see some of the world’s best tennis players compete on clay courts, which require a unique style of play and strategy compared to other surfaces.

Codeway Expo 2024

The Codeway Expo 2024 is an international fair dedicated to the role of the private sector in the new scenarios of international development cooperation. Scheduled for May 15 to May 17, 2024 at Fiera Roma, this event is a unique platform designed to bring together key players from the world of international cooperation under one roof.

This year’s expo will shine a spotlight on:

· Exhibition: A showcase of the latest innovations and technologies.
· Conferences: Discussions and presentations on current trends and future directions in technology and development.
· Networking: Opportunities for professionals to connect and collaborate.
· Opportunities: A space for businesses to discover new avenues for growth and development.

 

What to do in Florence

A Guide to Events Happening in Spring in Milan, Rome, Florence, and Bologna 3

From left to right: the celebration of the Florentine New Year, Giardino delle Rose, and purple wisteria in bloom at Bardini Gardens.

Explore the blooming of flowers in Florence gardens:

· Giardino delle Rose: A quaint garden on the way to Piazzale Michelangelo, home to a wide variety of roses and offering a fantastic view of the city.
· Giardino dell’Orticoltura: Known for its rich colors and greenery, this horticultural garden is perfect for a sunny day picnic.
· Giardino di Boboli: Situated behind the Palazzo Pitti, it’s filled with greenery, sculptures, and fountains, ideal for a leisurely stroll.
· Bardini Gardens: Famous for its wisteria blooms in late April, creating a floral tunnel with panoramic views over the city.

The Florentine New Year

The Florentine New Year is a unique celebration that takes place in Florence, Italy, and it’s quite different from the January 1st New Year’s Day that most of the world celebrates. In 2024, this special day will be observed on March 25th. It’s a tradition that dates back to medieval times when the city of Florence used a different calendar system.

On this day, the city takes a step back in time with a historical parade that starts from the Palagio di Parte Guelfa, a significant building in Florence’s political history. People dressed in colorful medieval costumes march through the streets, leading up to the Basilica della Santissima Annunziata. The basilica is a beautiful church that’s closely tied to the celebration because March 25th is also the Feast of the Annunciation, marking the angel Gabriel’s announcement to the Virgin Mary.

For visitors, it’s a chance to experience Florence’s rich history firsthand. You’ll see flag-throwers, musicians, and various historical figures represented in the procession. It’s not just a walk through the city; it’s a walk through time, celebrating Florence’s heritage and the arrival of spring.

Florence Korea Film Fest

The Korea Film Festival in Florence is a cinematic celebration dedicated to Korean films, set to take place from March 21st to March 30th. This event showcases a diverse range of Korean cinema, including documentaries, short films, and feature-length movies, as well as retrospectives on prominent Korean directors. It’s a cultural highlight for film enthusiasts and those interested in Korean culture, offering not only film screenings but also masterclasses, art exhibitions, and creative workshops. The festival will be held at Cinema la Compagnia, and the program includes a concert on Saturday, March 30th, at Teatro Verdi. Additionally, there will be films that you can enjoy online.

Easter: Scoppio del Carro

The “Scoppio del Carro,” or “Explosion of the Cart,” is a traditional event that takes place on Easter Sunday at the Piazza del Duomo. This historical celebration dates back over 350 years and is rooted in the 11th century. The story goes that a young Florentine noble, Pazzino di Ranieri de’ Pazzi, participated in the First Crusade and was the first to raise the Christian banner in Jerusalem. For his bravery, he was awarded three flints from the Holy Sepulchre, which he brought back to Florence.

These flints were used to start a “new fire” during Easter, symbolizing Christ’s resurrection and new life. This fire was then distributed to the citizens of Florence to light their hearths and candles, which had been extinguished on Good Friday. Over time, the tradition evolved, and the holy fire was transported around the city by a cart. By the late 15th century, the cart was filled with explosive powder, and by the early 16th century, a mechanical dove was introduced to ignite the cart in a series of explosions.

Today, the event starts with a procession of people dressed in medieval costumes, including drummers and flag throwers, leading a flower-adorned cart pulled by white oxen through the streets of Florence to the Duomo. A mechanical dove, symbolizing the Holy Spirit, is then sent down a wire from the church to collide with the cart, setting off a spectacular display of fireworks. The successful ignition of the fireworks is seen as a sign of good luck for the coming year.

The Florence Flower Show

The Florence Flower Show, a market exhibition of rare and unusual plants, will take place on April 6-7 at the Corsini Gardens, located at Via della Scala 115. This spring event will feature the best national exhibitors, offering numerous visitors two days of fun and learning about the themes of nursery gardening and quality horticulture.

What to do in Bologna

A Guide to Events Happening in Spring in Milan, Rome, Florence, and Bologna 4

From left to right: Giardini Margherita, the Porticoes Festival photo by Giorgio Bianchi, and one the gardens visited during the activities of Di Verde in Verde.

The best places where you can witness the blooming of flowers and the lush greenery of the city are the following:

· Giardini Margherita: The largest public park in Bologna, perfect for a day out surrounded by nature.
· Orto Botanico ed Erbario: This botanical garden offers a peaceful retreat with a variety of plant species in full bloom1.
· Piazza Santo Stefano: Known for the beautiful flowering of wisteria.
· Via Pelagio Palagi and Via degli Orefici: These streets are famous for their Japanese cherry trees that blossom in spring.

Peonia in Bloom

Peonia in Bloom is a charming market exhibition which showcases high-quality craftsmanship from all over the country. Set at Via della Braina, 11, Peonia in Bloom offers a unique atmosphere where visitors can explore a selection of exquisite artisanal goods, including jewelry, clothing, illustrations, vintage items, home decor, and much more. Of course, the event wouldn’t be complete without its namesake peonies, the flowers that symbolize this annual gathering.

This year, Peonia in Bloom is scheduled to open to the public on the following dates:

· Friday, May 17: from 3:00 PM to 8:00 PM
· Saturday, May 18: from 10:00 AM to 7:00 PM
· Sunday, May 19: from 10:00 AM to 7:00 PM

Diverdeinverde

Di Verde in Verde is a charming event that showcases the city’s private gardens and green spaces. During this event, residents and visitors have the unique opportunity to explore these hidden gems, which are usually not open to the public. It’s a celebration of Bologna’s lush landscapes, offering a glimpse into the city’s horticultural heritage and the beauty of its private oases. This year, the event will follow the tradition of being held on the last weekend of May, from Saturday, May 25, to Sunday, May 26.

The Porticoes Festival

The Porticoes Festival is a vibrant celebration of the city’s iconic architectural feature, the porticoes, which are recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This festival is a cultural extravaganza that brings together art, music, and performances under the historic arches that line the streets of Bologna.

It will take place from June 13-25, 2024, at various locations across Bologna, including Piazza Maggiore, Santa Maria dei Servi, and the Treno della Barca.

The Formula 1 Grand Prix

The Formula 1 Grand Prix of Emilia-Romagna is a thrilling motor racing event that takes place at the Autodromo Internazionale Enzo e Dino Ferrari, commonly known as Imola. This historic track, once home to the San Marino GP, is located in the Emilia-Romagna region of Italy and is one of the few major international circuits to run in an anti-clockwise direction.

For the 2024 event, the Grand Prix is scheduled from May 17-19, with the main race occurring on Sunday, May 19. The weekend is packed with action, including practice sessions, qualifying rounds, and the main race, which spans 63 laps of the 4.909-kilometre track.

 

Circle the dates for a spring of cultural discovery, outdoor adventures, blooming beauty, and vibrant networking events, all featured in this guide.

 

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