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It's iris time in San Polo in Chianti!

26 April 2018

From May 3 to 6, the beautiful flower symbol of Florence will be the protagonist of the village festival.

"I saw Fiorenza in such rest,
that it had no cause for weeping;
with these people I saw glorious
and just the people so much that the lily
it was never auctioned backward
nor for division made vermilion"

Dante Alighieri, Divine Comedy, Paradiso, Canto XVI, 152

The Festa del Giaggiolo

Many, also thanks to the "Divine Comedy", think that the flower that has stood out for centuries on the Florentine coat of arms is a lily, as it was commonly called. In reality this is not the case: it is actually an iris. From May 3th to May 6th 2018, in honor of this flower known since antiquity, will be held in San Polo a festival that will offer many attractions for adults and children: from tastings of the flavors of Chianti, starting from oil and wine, up to events of all kinds.

Many events, from music in the square to the "Scarpinata tra i giaggioli", a non-competitive trail that will take place on country roads, surrounded by nature, moving along woods, streams and, of course, magnificent fields of irises. The small village of San Polo is located a short distance from Greve in Chianti and owes its fame especially to its crops of Iris and to the festival dedicated to this flower. The irises of San Polo are exported all over the world and used for the creation of perfumes and cosmetics.

The "Lily" of Florence

The reasons for choosing the iris as a symbol of Florence are lost in the mists of time.

A legend has it that the Latin name of the city (Florentia) derives from the fact that the foundation of Florence by the Romans, which occurred in 59 BC, coincided with the spring festivities in honor of the goddess Flora, which took place between April 28th and May 3rd. The choice of the iris was probably due to the fact that this flower, a symbol of purity, was particularly common in the surroundings of the city.

The iris is a plant with an ancient history, cultivated since the time of the ancient Egyptians.

The name Iris comes from ancient Greece instead: its multicolored petals made it associate with the messenger of the Gods and personification of the rainbow, Iris. Its scent, at the time of Caterina de'Medici was also called "Water of the Queen". It seems that, in fact, it was her favorite.

The Iris Garden

Spring also offers another chance to admire the irises in full bloom, this time in the heart of Florence: from April 25th to May 20th, the Iris Garden in Piazzale Michelangelo is open to the public. The visit to this garden is unmissable: an authentic explosion of irises of all colors (3000 varieties of irises), among which the purple iris has a special place, the shirt of the beloved city's soccer team, AC Fiorentina, owes the color of this Iris the inspiration for their "colors". Admission is free, and the times to visit are the following: from Monday to Friday, from 10 to 13 and from 15 to 19.30; Saturday and Sunday from 10 to 19.30.

In conclusion

For those who love this magnificent flower, the period between May 3rd and 6th is a unique opportunity to combine together in one holiday, two different attractions related to Iris: the festival of San Polo and the garden of Florence.

Book your spring trip hunting for irises at the Albergo del Chianti: contact us as soon as possible on our landline number +39055853763, on the cellphone +393386205633 or by sending an email to info@albergodelchianti.it

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