Spring is not spring in Rome without the azaleas that decorate and color the 18th-century staircase of Trinità de’ Monti, giving it a triumphantly polychrome look and enhancing the theatricality of one of the most popular urban settings in the world.
The tradition of the Capitoline flower exhibition dates back to the early 1930s: the exhibition was initially set up in the park of Villa Aldobrandini but in 1952 it moved permanently to Piazza di Spagna. The floral triumph is entrusted to about 250 white and lilac azalea plants. During the rest of the year, their usual residence is the Semenzaio di San Sisto, on the slopes of the Celio, which also houses a rich and precious collection of orchids: in its nurseries, the municipal gardeners take care of the essences belonging to the variety Rododendrum indicum, a commercially unavailable azalea, particularly adapted to the Roman climate.
The duration of the exhibition (about one month) depends on the weather conditions: a sudden increase in temperature or a succession of rainy days shortens the flowering time, accelerating their return to the the city nurseries.
From the second half of April to early May, for the whole period of flowering of the azaleas.