Garden of the Iris
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Piazzale Michelangelo

 

Tourist informations
Entrance from: Piazzale Michelangelo.
Opening hours: April 28th to May 20th: 10AM-12.30PM and 3-7PM.
Admission ticket: Free.

From Piazzale Michelangelo you can enter this unique Garden of the Iris: it is dedicated to the flower symbol of Florence.
Different hybrids of this flower from many countries are in bloom here.

History - In the spotlight

 History


The Garden of the Iris was created in 1954 by Mrs. Flaminia Specht and Mrs. Nita Stross Radicati, two Florentine iris cultivators, in order to provide an adequate setting for the «Premio Firenze», an international iris competition established in that year.
The Councillor for Fine Arts and Gardens (Piero Bargellini, later major of Florence) recognized how important this idea was and obtained that the City Council permitted the Garden to be built on the so-called Podere dei Bastioni, an abandoned ground on the eastern side of Piazzale Michelangelo.


Click to enlarge pictures.

Tha Garden was designed by architect G. Zetti and was inaugurated in 1957; many foreign cultivators had already donated irises and the Presby Memorial Garden di Montclair (New Jersey, USA) showed its support by donating an important collection of historical irises.
In 1967 a pound surrounded by marshy ground has been added to the garden, thus providing an ideal accommodation for particular irises from Japan and Lousiana.

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 In the spotlight


The City Council of Florence, in collaboration with the Italian Iris Society, helds here since 1954 the international iris competition «Premio Firenze»: over 100 iris cultivators from all over the world send each year their irises to be judged in this amazing flower show.
Irises sent in are cultivated for three years before they are reviewed by an international commitee, which awards prizes based on various characteristics of the flowers. First prize is a replica of the ancient golden coin of Florence, the Fiorino d'oro, donated by the Tourist Promotion Agency of Florence. A special prize by the City Coucil is reserved to the red iris that comes more close to the shade of the red iris symbolizing Florence since 1251.

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