A few days ago I was in Bologna for a photo shoot and walking through the old town narrow streets, among the several small shops selling local food I’ve found this tiny store selling roses. I looked at the romantic flower display inside and I couldn’t help thinking about the long history of one of the most celebrated, mentioned, painted and sang of all the earth decoration. This star of plant life exist in more than 30,000 and is “born” even before mankind: fossils have been found on various parts of the world with traces of roses that are over 25 million years ago, before the appearance of man on Earth! Known since 4700 years ago in China, not only for making tea but also for its healing powers, the rose arrived in the Western world thanks to the ancient Egyptians who were cultivated them already during the reign of Ramses II in 1200 BC.

In Ancient Rome, during banquets and parties in the Nero’s Domus Aurea was spread rose scent and threw petals on participants. In the eighth century Emperor Charlemagne ordered by edict that the roses were planted in the gardens of the kingdom. The first – and one of the largest – collectors of roses was the first wife of Napoleon, Josephine de Beauharnais, who in 800, in his castle of Malmaison in Paris, gave rise to what is still one of the most beautiful and extensive collections in the world.

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To cure love sickness you have to put a drop of essential oil directly over the heart: the scent of rose is said to soothe the pain but it takes about 3,500 to 5,000 freshly cut flowers to obtain 1 kg of essential oil 100% pure. Roses have a special code used to communicate to those who receive them messages and feelings. If you happen to fall in love in Italy here you have a directory to avoid miss messaging:

The White Rose symbolizes innocence, virginity, spiritual development, the charm, the purity.
The White and Red Rose represents the union of fire and water, the union of opposites.
The Blue Rose is the mystery and wisdom.
The Pink Rose can be given to a close friend as a sign of affection.
The Pink orange is perfect to embody the charm.
The Coral Rose symbolizes the desire.
The Yellow Rose is the banner of jealousy.
The Pale Yellow Rose expresses hesitancy in love that requires confirmation.
The Yellow Rose adorned with Red indicates tender and eternal love.
The Wild Small rose symbolizes innocence.
The Red Rose means pure and ardent love;
The Mottled Rose is the sign of betrayed love
Now that you know the basics of floral etiquette you can seek a lady worthy of your romance but if you pass by Piazza Maggiore in Bologna take a leap into this cozy shop and let them be your Cupid!

Fabrizio Cocchi
Via Marchesana 2/A 40124 Bologna Italy
Tel: +39 051 229243

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