The 2022 Reopening of Florence’s Iris Garden


A photo of an iris in the garden, photo by Ted De Veer

An exceptional bloom of flowers can be seen through May 20 below Piazzale Michelangelo in the Iris Garden. Over 10,000 varieties of iris in a full spectrum of colors from all over the world are planted there. Visitors are welcomed to walk through the five-acre park to admire the flourishing garden. Gardening courses, events and guided tours will be offered during this annual opening.

The garden is open free of charge from daily from 10 am to 6 pm (last entrance at 5:30 pm).  Bus 12 at the Scalette stop outside the Station or bus 13 from the Rotonda Barbetti can be taken to reach Piazzale Michelangelo. To reserve a guided tour on Sunday, send an email to or visit

White and pale blue irises grow, and have always grown, in and around Florence, and the great botanist Linnaeus actually named the rare white variety iris Florentina. The white iris against a red background was the city’s symbol up to 1250 when the Guelph party came to power. To emphasize that a political change had occurred in Florence, the Guelphs inverted the color scheme: the white iris became bright red on a white field, creating the city coat-of-arms, which is still used today.

From an aesthetic point of view, the Garden contains many different varieties of irises, both wild and cultivated types, as well as an aquatic Japanese variety for which an artificial lake had to be created.  The 64th edition of the International Iris Competition will take place May 9 to 14; a prize is also awarded for the best irises, and after the competition, the winning flowers stay in the garden.