Orticola di Lombardia – for 150 years it has been promoting the art of italian gardens, horticulture and green culture.

In 1865 Count Francesco Pertusati together with 150 members among which the Prince Umberto di Savoia, gives birth to Orticola di Lombardia.

In the mid-nineteenth century, some young Milanese that loved plants and flowers came together in the gardens of Arcadia. Count Francesco Pertusati and his friends exchange information and knowledge on flowers, plants and natural beauty.
Together they want to spread interest in botany and a taste for gardening, so in 1854 founded the magazine “The Gardens”, a journal of horticulture.

The founding act of the Società Orticola di Lombardia, which has among its 150 members Prince Umberto of Savoy and the Count Pertusati himself, was signed in Milan in 1865.
Its purpose is to promote the knowledge of plants, of gardening and of natural landscape. In its heart, there is preservation of a large and important Italian heritage, the Lombard garden.

Since 1866, Orticola organized a horticultural Exhibition, a tradition revived in 1996. Since then, every second weekend of May the Orticola Flower Show takes place in the Public Gardens ‘Indro Montanelli’, the proceeds of which are donated to the green areas of Milan and finances socio-cultural initiatives, such as exhibitions, conferences, regular meetings and specialized publications.
The Flower Show over the years has seen continuous growth in the number of small nurserymen of excellence, offering the public a greater variety of plants, even showing new ways to create gardens and terraces.
Since the first edition, Orticola rewards the best nursery owners by the quality of their work, the best botanical collection, the most significant plant.


Green interventions for the city are the initiatives dedicated to improving the green areas of Milan. Over the years the commitment has gone in favor of the flower beds of the Giardini di Porta Venezia in front of the Natural Science Museum, the gardens of the Sormani Library, the Botanical Gardens of Brera Museum and Perego Gardens in which irrigation systems and a play ground for children have been created.

Orticola in Museums is an initiative that follows the philanthropic tradition of Orticola di Lombardia: between 2004-2009 cultural events in Milan museums, such as exhibitions of flower decoration, painting, photography, have been organized.

Another important event promoted by Orticola di Lombardia is the Lavinia Taverna Prize, an annual award given to young women who engage with professionalism and passion in the world of plants and gardens.

As for the culture of plants and gardens, in 2012 started The Study Days of Orticola a cultural initiative together with the Gallery of Modern Art that addresses the evolution of green culture in Italy from the Risorgimento to the third millennium.

Urban hORTICOLAture is an innovative project with the aim of creating a social involvement to achieve sustainable urban vegetable gardens and raise awareness to the issues of sustainability and environmental protection.
As part of the project “MiColtivo – Cultivating Milan, Vegetable Gardens in School” was funded, in partnership with Expo 2015 and Riccardo Catella Foundation, an initiative of food and environmental education in public schools.

Inauguration of the XIX Orticola Flower Show

Photo courtesy Orticola