Giardino dell’Iris is a garden very special to Florence. And if you blink you might miss it. This garden is only open during the month of May where the gorgeous flowers thrive in the sunlight. The colors that take over are vibrant and full of life as the warm spring sun shines down on them. This garden belongs to the Italian Iris Society which prides itself on promoting the gorgeous iris flower. Every year, there is an international competition of the organized cultivation of the iris. Its goal is to promote the iris and the lily which is the coat of arms of Florence.
The lily is the coat of arms of Florence and the history is quite interesting. The colors are a reversal from white to red on red on white background when the Guelphs and Ghibellines took over the city in the Middle Ages. Fighting over who was in power. The Ghibellines were represented by the emblem of the white lily which was very common in the Tuscan countryside. While the Guelphs adopted a red lily, which didn’t exist in Tuscany.The iris grows wild with the colors purple and white and there are rarely any other colors. The exotic types of iris’ that reside here is a great sight to see. The colors and faint scents alone will invite you in.
The garden is free to enter from April 25th to May 20th. The month seems to always fly by, so be sure to make it your first stop when coming to Florence in May.An avid photographer can capture the views from the garden and the surrounding areas around Piazzale Michelangelo. The garden is located to the right of the Piazzale Michelangelo and is open from 10am-12:30pm and then open again at 3pm to 7pm. If you don’t feel like hiking up to Piazzale Michelangelo, there are two buses you can take to reach the garden, the number 13 and 12 starting from Santa Maria Novella train station. The garden has much space for you to explore as well they offer guides for free in English if you would like a full tour of the garden space.