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By Ornella d'Alessio

GENOA, ITALY, 21 March 2006 —Plants and  flowers from all over the world will fill the Genoa fairgrounds for Euroflora 2006 (21 April - 1 May), one of the largest indoor European  flower shows. This, the ninth edition of the international plants and flowers exhibition, will take place in Liguria’s largest city, a stone’s throw from the charming fishermen’s village of Portofino.

This spectacular and unique worldwide event is held every five years. Euroflora always attracts a bumper number of visitors—and they were almost 700,000 by the end of the last show in 200. The leitmotif for Euroflora 2006  will be water as the primordial source of life and a precious resource with waterfalls, fountains and jeux d'eau.

Breathtaking settings will  showcase and enhance the rarest plants and flowers from  all over the world  both inside the pavilions and in the outdoor areas of  the fairgrounds—one hundred and fifty thousand square meters  overlooking the sea, artistically transformed into a huge garden. An original itinerary through nature  highlighting the  characteristics of many different  kinds of environments.

There will be many exciting novelties at this edition especially in the field of biodiversity: the  wollemi pine from Australia, some rare plants from Madagascar, but also plants from Taiwan, Vietnam and the Philippines.

To give an idea of what the show has in store it is interesting to note that thousands of floriculturists and nursery gardeners will send their finest products and new features to the show and that hundreds of specialists will work for 40 days  to prepare the fairgrounds using 10,000 square meters of sand, 1,500 cubic meters of peat and 12,000 meters of grass—the equivalent of two soccer  pitches.

The sea will be one of the  new entries at this show with the reconstruction of an "old America" port and with a boat filled with plants:  a  fascinating  step back into the history of spices, herbs, and fruits like tea, coffee and cocoa, date palms and banana trees,  all of which came to Europe down through the centuries from the farthest corners of the Earth.

The entire city and the Ligurian region will be pervaded by scents and colours with theme shows in museums, special workshops, and a fashion show entitled, Vestire l'arte (Dressing art) featuring the sculpture-gowns of Roberto Capucci, floral itineraries and lush landscapes showcased in the villas of  the Musei di Nervi: Villa Luxoro, Villa Grimaldi-Fassio, Villa Saluzzo-Serra.  The Carlo Felice Theater will boost its calendar with  two operas  which are  closely linked to flowers: Madama Butterfly and Kat’a Kabanová .

Euroflora 2006
Genoa, Italy
21 April - 1 May 2006

Ornella d'Alessio is an Italian journalist and food and wine writer based in Genoa, Italy. She is the author of Wine Country Europe published by Rizzoli International in December 2005.    

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