On the Cover: Giardino dell'Iris

Gonfalone of Florence Gonfalone of Florence

In Florence, Italy rests a truly unique place - Giardino dell'Iris, the Iris Garden. Near Piazzale Michelangelo, this special garden is the only botanical garden dedicated to this flower variety in all of Europe. The Iris Garden was created with the aim of hosting an annual international competition for the best varieties of iris. It was first launched in 1954 on the initiative of Flaminia Specht and Nita Stross Radicati, members of the Società Amici dei Fiori and passionate hybridisers.

Their special interest made it possible to set up the event in Florence, considered its natural home because of the city's long-standing link with this flower throughout history, so much so that the city's emblem includes a red iris (and not a lily as is mistakenly believed).

Located between the corner of Viale dei Colli and Piazzale Michelangelo in the Podere dei Bastioni, the Iris Garden covers an

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