Spring, life, flowers, rebirth, renewal… these are the concepts behind the “flower” and it is no coincidence that Florence is the city of flowers… the lily of its coat of arms which until 1251 was white on a red field, and therefore to the very name of the city: “Florentia” ie “city meant to flourish“.
On 12 April 1412, the cathedral of the city of Florence was dedicated to “Santa Maria del Fiore”. In the month of April, whose name derives from the Etruscan Apro, and from the Greek Aphrodite, goddess of love, but also from the Latin aperire (to open) to indicate the month in which they open, plants and flowers are reborn.
Not only in name, also in art Florence is full of floral paths, from Giotto to Beato Angelico, from Benozzo Gozzoli, Della Robbia, to Verrocchio: festoons of roses, single cut flowers or bunches, up to the blaze of Spring. Here Botticelli has represented hundreds of specimens of flowers, shrubs, herbs, trees to make it clear immediately that we are in spring when all those plants and flowers that are represented bloom, grow and sprout. And with symbolic references the presence of orange trees with blossoming orange blossoms and laden with fruit is explained: the citron – medical citrus, which is the Medici symbol.
If we omit for a moment the nine mythological figures inside the garden of Venus, we see that the characters are in front of a grove of orange trees (symbol of marriage happiness), in a flowery meadow of daisies, violets, roses, hellebore, chamomile, buttercups, strawberries, muscari, pink hyacinths, poppies (sign of fertility), cornflowers (symbol of love), jasmine and forget-me-not, periwinkles (symbol of marriage bond), carnations, yellow wallflowers, myrtle and the iris “lily from Florence”.
The floral vocation of Florence is deeply linked to its gardens with unmissable appointments: on April 25th the traditional Exhibition of Plants and Flowers opens at the Horticultural Garden, with its magnificent nineteenth-century greenhouse, in May it is a must to visit the splendid blooms the Rose Garden at the Bastioni in viale Poggi and the Iris garden at Piazzale Michelangelo.