The rose is a remarkable plant in so many different ways.
It has been admired and grown in gardens for many millennia and in many parts of the world. Initially the rose was probably grown for its medicinal properties but over time its beauty was recognised and it began to be planted in gardens as an ornamental plant.
Throughout history the rose has taken on many different symbolic meanings – it is found in all the arts, in fashion, in the legal system, in politics and in religion. It has long been a symbol of love and affection. For the most part the connotations have been positive but at times it has also been associated with the devil.
Admirers of the rose have cherished not just its beauty and medicinal qualities, but also its varied fragrances and the oil that can be extracted from it. Rose petals and oil are vital ingredients in many different culinary dishes, both sweet and savoury. 

With such a feast of ideas and themes to explore, it is therefore with great pleasure and excitement that we invite you to join us on this symposium looking at the role that the rose has played – and still plays – in our culture. You will:

The venue is the superb Hotel san Rocco https://www.hotelsanrocco.it/en/ on the shores of Lake Orta in northern Italy. The lake is described as one of the most beautiful and certainly one of the cleanest in Italy. It is surrounded by the Alps and so is an excellent base for further exploration. The hotel is in the town of Orta San Giulio, which dates back to Roman times and is home to a mix of medieval and baroque architecture and colourful frescos. By car it is approximately 50 minutes north of Milan Malpensa airport and 80 minutes from central Milan.

We look forward to welcoming you.

Andrea Giacomini and Michael Marriott

Alberto Giacomini Foundation

The Fondazione Cavaliere del Lavoro Alberto Giacomini was established in 2019 to pay tribute to the person of Alberto Giacomini, his values, his fundamentals.
Cavaliere del Lavoro (TN: Knighthood of the Order of Merit for Labour) Alberto Giacomini had an immense passion for every artistic expression, classical or contemporary, and a mind open to every new art form as the eclectic, visionary and successful entrepreneur that he was.
From his desire to learn, support expressions and ideas, the Fondazione Cavaliere del Lavoro Alberto Giacomini was born. Its aim is the valorisation of artistic sensibility, the organisation of events for cultural and artistic promotion, aimed at the protection, valorisation and dissemination of artistic and cultural sensibility.
The foundation is engaged in several strands: artistic, cultural, supporting young entrepreneurs and creators, supporting education and schools.
The foundation operates on a national level, but is very much linked to the Lake Orta area, where Alberto Giacomini was born and grew up. The foundation’s objective is also to promote and sponsor themes and initiatives to enhance and improve the Lake area. In particular, it focuses on sustainable mobility and its development in the area.

Michael Marriott

Michael Marriott has been a very keen gardener and plants person from a very early age. Joining David Austin Roses in 1985 gave him the opportunity to specialise in roses and during the 35 years he worked there became one of the world’s leading and most respected rosarians/rose experts. He retired from David Austin Roses in 2019 but has since continued to be very closely involved in the rose world lecturing, writing, consulting, designing rose gardens and leading rose tours. He is author of RHS Roses and received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Garden Media Guild in 2022. He is chairman of the Historic Roses Group and vice president of Plant Heritage. Along with his partner Rosie Irving he started TOD garden tours.