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Six Nations in Flowers: Italy

Welcome back to our Six Nations in Flowers series. We've already looked at the odd story of the red rose of England, the tangled tale of the Fleur-de-lis in France, and the long history of the shamrock as the flower of Ireland. And today, it's onwards - to Italy!

Italy is interesting in that unlike many countries - and indeed states and even organisations - it doesn't have an official flower. However one flower which is often associated with the Italian nation is the lily.

Sensation Lilies

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The reason that the lily has become associated with Italy is because it is the icon of one of Italy's most famous - and notorious - families: The Medici. 

The House of Medici were a political dynasty, who became de facto rulers of Florence in the fifteenth century through their powerful financial institution, the Medici Bank. Eventually they ruled Florence for over a hundred years, and exerted enormous influence upon Italy and the world. 

And their symbol was a red lily (interestingly descended from the white lily of the fleur-de-lis of France), placed upon a white background...

Like so.

Florence Lily

(Image from Experience Tuscany)

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