This weekend there are a ton of nature-related events going on in Tuscany. I guess they assumed that weather would be good for the third weekend in May, 22-23 2010. Let’s hope it’s true because there are promising nature walks and garden visits all around the Region. It just happens to be the “Giornata Europea dei Parchi” (European Parks Day) on Monday the 24th of May- could this be why?

Here’s what I have gathered for you:

Florence – Treasure Hunt at the Orto Botanico (Botanical Gardens): A GREEN treasure hunt in the garden for adults and children. Max 20 participants, call + 39 055 2346760 or surf Cost is 2.50 euros plus entry to the garden (3/6E).

Florence – Secret Gardens special tours: Saturday May 23d organized by the comune di Firenze, reservation required. Get into rich people’s private gardens downtown – you’d never know they were there, and they are pretty amazing. I heard about this event thanks Anna at the European School of Economics who rents space at the Palazzo Roselli del Turco, with a fabulous garden across the street (see photo) that also hosts an art gallery “Aria” in its limonaia (the garden structure used to house lemon trees in the winter). For more informatation and how to reserve, see

Florence (province)/ Pontassieve – ANPIL led trail walks to see the historic butter making facilities in the woods (“Cammino delle Antiche Burraie”). This looks reallycool and I had no idea that these existed. For the “Giornata Europea dei Parchi” (see also below, Arezzo) the walk is organized by ANPIL and it’s free. There are two routes marked by the red and white symbol and the path name “SB” (this is usually a number). The path is a ring that leaves from Santa Brigida and takes either 3 or 4 hours depending on the path you choose. I doubt that my husband will spring for an 8:30 am departure this week but I hope to do this path on our own some time (and not get lost), because I’m interested in these stone structures that were used for the preparation of butter until the early 19th century. The path also includes a visit to the Sanctuary of Madonna delle Grazie al Sasso, established as a hermitage around the year 800. My information comes from a pamphlet picked up at a restaurant on the Faentina. It’s organized by ANPIL and the UISP.

Arezzo (province) – Festa dei Parchi: “Tutte le aree protette della provincia di Arezzo festeggiano la Giornata Europea dei Parchi con un evento che si svolgerà nella Riserva Naturale Valle dell’Inferno e Bandella. Sono previste passeggiate, visite in barca, divertenti laboratori, spettacoli ed animazioni teatrali e musicali, che offriranno a grandi e piccoli occasioni piacevoli per vivere la natura.” Download the pdf flyer for complete information and how to reserve.

Giornata Europea dei Parchi in Tuscany – some more listings on this blog.

And if it rains (again)? Fabbrica Europa is on at Stazione Leopolda until May 25th with a strange line up of music and performing arts.

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