Flower in Florence. At the Ctystal Palace and on the balconies

Spring Market Exhibition at the Giardino dell’Orticultura (Horticultural Garden) from 25th April 2022 to 1st May 2022

Every 25th April in the Giardino dell’Orticultura in Florence, at the Ponte Rosso, the traditional exhibition of plants and flowers opens.

It’s worth to make a visit not only for the wonderful plants of nurserymen from all over Italy, but also to admire the Tepidarium of the Roster, which not even many Florentines know.

In their eyes will appear a large construction that seems to be on two floors: a splendid transparent and light Art Nouveau greenhouse.

The “glass palace” (as it was called at the time) is a large greenhouse heated by wood stoves (Tepidarium), which was born in 1880 on the occasion of the First National Horticultural Exhibition, intended to house exotic plants at the right temperature and tropical.

Designed by architect Giacomo Roster, it is the largest greenhouse built in Italy with prefabrication techniques and Art Nouveau decorative motifs.

38 meters long by 17 meters wide, it has a roof that resembles the hull of an overturned ship, supported by 24 supporting columns 14 meters high.

Behind the greenhouse, you can go up to the highest part of the garden, the so-called “Orti del Parnaso” where, from a panoramic terrace, you can enjoy an unusual view of the whole of Florence.

From the center of the terrace starts a sinuous sculpture, studded with stones and pieces of glass that shine in the sun, crossed by a rivulet of water. It is a fountain (designed by architect Mario Dezzi Bardeschi in 1990) in the shape of a huge winged snake (or dragon). At the end of the staircase appears the big and terrible gaping mouth of what all children call the dragon.

But the flower show was not always set up in this place. For many years, in fact, recalling the Spring Market Exhibition that was born in Florence in 1855, the exhibition was held in the square and under the loggias of the Uffizi and in Piazza Signoria. It was the 60s, 70s and 80s, and, more recently, the editions of 2016 and 2017 have been repeated in this context.

Speaking of flowers, the competition that rewards the most beautiful balconies in the city returns again this year until September 15. Organized by the Municipality of Florence and the Tuscan Society of Horticulture, with the support of the Pharmaceutical Perfume Workshop of Santa Maria Novella, it will be sufficient to send a photo of the flowered balcony to balconinfiore@societatoscanaorticoltura.it, indicating the area and the neighborhood of reference.The award ceremony is scheduled for Sunday 2 October on the occasion of the Autumn 2022 Flower Show.