The Flowers of Italy

Image courtesy of Simone Tagliaferri

From romantic roses to the spectacular sunflower fields of Tuscany, flowers play an important part in Italian life. Colourful and natural wild flowers add a feeling of enchantment to the Italian countryside, while many flowers are given as gifts with specific and thoughtful intentions. We look at the beautiful flowers of Italy and the meanings they have in Italian culture.

Image courtesy of Liz West

Roses

The rose is the national flower of Italy, and it’s easy to see why. Commonly associated with romance, love and beauty, there’s no other flower that sums up the Italian approach of living life with passion so perfectly. As in many countries, different coloured roses mean different things – red roses are the symbol of passion and love, white represents purity and blue roses represent mystery. 

Image courtesy of Takashi M

Girasoli

When you think of the rolling Tuscan hills and the picturesque Italian countryside, there’s only one flower that comes to mind – the girasoli, also known around the world as the sunflower. The region of Tuscany is famous for growing these gorgeous flowers, and visitors to the area are amazed to see fields bursting with yellow and gold. To Italians these flowers represent happiness and cheer; after all, how could anyone resist the joy of the Italian summer? 

Image courtesy of Ferruccio Zanone

Mimosa

Not only does the mimosa look beautiful, but it also plays an important part in Italian culture. The 8th March every year marks the Italian Festa Della Donna – International Women’s Day – and it is celebrated by men giving the traditional gift of yellow mimosas to the women that they love. The celebration is extremely popular in Italy, and serves as a wonderful opportunity to pay homage to the incredible and inspirational women who have and continue to help shape the country that they love.

Image courtesy of Jay Bergesen

Tuscan Poppy

Just like the girasoli, the Tuscan poppy is another flower that helps give one of Italy’s most stunning regions its natural beauty. With a backdrop of Tuscany's deep, lush green wheat fields and the strong Tuscan sunshine beaming down on them, these poppies bring a gorgeous burst of bright and brilliant red to the countryside. Most often appearing around the beginning of May, the first sight of the Tuscan poppy is an exciting promise that summer is just around the corner.

Lavender

From the beautifully scented lavender gardens of Capri to the picturesque flowers that decorated many Italian homes, lavender plays an important part in creating Italy’s enchanting atmosphere. Not only does the rich purple of this flower look beautiful, the lavender is also a feast for the senses – the soothing smell of lavender is synonymous with life in the Italian countryside, and products such as lavender syrup give a sweet taste and unique scent to cocktails and a variety of dishes.