‘Wander & Pick’ Free Public Tulip Gardens
The town of Scandicci, adjacent to Florence, inaugurated a tulip garden dubbed “Wander and Pick” in 2018 in the city park, Parco degli Acciaioli, for its residents and visitors to enjoy as they admire the 50+ variants of the plant scattered across a large open field. Due to red zone status, the town had to close all the municipality’s parks and gardens until it was deemed safe enough for opening again. The good news is that the park was able to reopen and will remain open for the time being so visitors can come from near and far beginning on the afternoon of April 18 onwards. Hours are 10:30 am – 7 pm and guests are asked to wear masks and limit their time in the park to 30 minutes, as only 50 people are allowed at a time. The Parco degli Acciaioli is accessible via tram in the direction of Villa Costanza. The stop for the park is Resistenza; after getting off, walk straight ahead to the town hall, turn left, walk down the street, then turn right when glimpsing the Polimoda campus in the distance. The entrance is near via Galileo Galilei, Scandicci.
Florence has its very own “Wander and Pick” tulip garden, too, inspired by the efforts of the Scandicci park, located in Parco del Mensola in Ponte alla Mensola. Despite Covid restrictions, Florence had decided to allow parks and gardens to remain always open, giving residents the rare opportunity to experience some fresh, open air and sunlight, as well as the ability to pick and smell gorgeous, blooming flowers. The colorful garden can be found above the Campo di Marte neighborhood and below Settignano, accessible by car or by taking bus #10. The entrance to the Ponte alla Mensola “Wander and Pick” garden is at via della Torre 27.
This family friendly spot is open for all from 11 am – 7 pm and is a lovely way to experience nature during a time where public activities have been limited. Walks with family and friends are encouraged with the enforced social distancing of at least 1.6 meters (5.2 ft.) as well as wearing a face mask at all times. In addition to the 100,000 tulips bulbs planted over 9,000 square meters, there are plans for 650 trees to be planted along the stream in the park while the Consortium builds an irrigation system near the Mensola stream, which was considered sacred by the ancients. All flowers have been planted using organic farming techniques.
At both parks, a donation is requested if visitors choose to pick the flowers, one euro per tulip. Each visitor is given a pail to collect the flowers and they are counted at the exit. The green spaces were created in abandoned areas originally destined to new construction.
The Facebook page offers daily updates and open hours. (autumn noury)