There is a legend that circulates among the growers of violets. The legend says that a young market gardener, a soldier of the Empire, returned from Italy with a handful of violets. He offered the plants to his lovely lady and when she planted them, the flowers grew beautifully.
The violet is now the emblem of Toulouse and is a traditional part of the city’s culture since the Middle Ages but it wasn’t until 1850 that this delicate plant was developed commercially and grown in the northern part of the city. In 1950, unfortunately, after a spate of bad winters the farming of the flowers died out.
But all was not lost…..
In July 2000, Helen Vié opened “La Maison de la Violette” on board a barge anchored on the Canal du Midi. When you step aboard, your senses are overwhelmed with violet, from the scent, the colour and the taste. While there, you learn all about the history and if you are lucky, are invited to taste a few of the violet wares – we had violet ice cream, violet cola, candied violet, a violet mocktail and strictly for the grown-ups; a violet liqueur. Yum!
Contributor & photographer: Alexandra Pinhorn
Toulouse is part of the CRT Midi-Pyrénées which is a client of Magellan PR. Follow them on Twitter: @tourismemidipy and Facebook: Tourisme-en-Midi-Pyrénées. Toulouse is also on Twitter: @VisitToulouse and on Facebook: Toulouse.tourisme
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