From now until the first weekend of April, you have a chance to admire beautiful cherry blossom trees in full bloom, right here in Rome! All you need to do is make a short trip out to the city’s EUR neighborhood.
This happens only once a year for about two weeks, so make sure you go before the trees become bare again.
In 1959, a year before Rome was set to host the summer Olympics, Japan donated 2,500 cherry blossom trees to the city. The ceremony took place on Passeggiata del Giappone (Japan Walkway) inside Parco Centrale del Largo (Central Lake Park), as a sign of friendship between Italy and Japan.
Every year, from around mid-March to early April, you can walk through the very same Passeggiata del Giappone and enjoy the cherry blossoms during their short flowering period.
In 2019, the recommended timeframe is from the last weekend of March to the first weekend of April.
According to the Sakura Festival’s official Facebook page, Hanami (literally “flower viewing”) is a ritual in Japan where friends and families make trips to see the cherry blossoms, and often have picnics or small parties. Hanami in Tokyo can last from anywhere from the end of March to mid-May, but the trees here in Rome usually start blooming around the third week of March (3/23 or so).
This weekend they’re in full bloom, and will last for only one or two more weeks!
Walking around the park, you’ll be showered by flutters of beautiful pink petals flying off the trees. Underneath the trees and all around the lakeside, families, individuals, and couples are picnicking and sunbathing. I loved seeing the diversity of foods people were eating: sushi, sandwiches, yakitori (Japanese stir fry noodles), panini, and even coolers full of rice! It’s wonderful to see different cultures united by a universal appreciation for nature.
Enjoy your Hanami!
Parco del Centrale
Metro stops: EUR Palasport or EUR Fermi
Open: 24 hours a day, 7 days a week