In 1830, Cosimo Ridolfi, nurseryman and agronomist, had Villa Bibbiani set up a camellia garden that
reached 195 between different species and varieties. We imagine it was a place of exceptional beauty, of
which, unfortunately, only the memory remains. In the area where this collection was built, there are two
flower beds that during the flowering period evoke the wonder of the past collection. To add a note of
poetry, nearby there is a small pedestrian bridge.
The camellia is a plant native to the tropical areas of Asia which belongs to the Theaceae family. The fist
who imported it from Japan to Europe was the pharmacist and botanist Georg Joseph Kamel, after which it
is named. This plant’s flowers have an important meaning: they represent both a pledge and a commitment
to face every sacrifice in the name of love. When you give someone a camellia, you want to convey the
esteem and admiration towards that person.
The first camellias landed in England shortly before 1747 and in just a few years these flowers spread
rapidly, triggering a trend and even an obsession. Florence was the Italian capital with its most famous
collection, that of the Marchese Cosimo Ridolfi, in the countryside Bibbiani estate between Empoli and