There are precious jewels scattered throughout Italy, from the north to the south, otherwise known as gardens, examples of care and conservation of diverse ecosystems and botanical species, magical places where you can lose yourself, away from the chaos of the city. Here is a brief review of the small Edens hidden throughout the peninsula.
Lazio: the Gardens of Villa d’Este and the Vatican gardens
The Gardens of Villa d’Este are one of the most beautiful examples of Italianate gardens in Europe. The stunning beauty of the Villa and of the park that surrounds it earned the prestigious recognition of UNESCO that made it a World Heritage Site.
A masterpiece to be discovered: the presence of fountains, nymphaeums, and incredible water features made this place a model emulated by many European gardens in the Baroque period.Among these, the best known example is that of the Royal Palace of Caserta. Strolling through the greenery of the garden your attention will be drawn to the Cento Fontane (the Hundred Fountains) that flank the main avenue of the garden for a hundred meters.
Don’t miss the Fountain of Ovato, from which the waters of the river Aniene flowed in ancient times, and the splendid fountain of the Dragons, which is located in the heart of the garden of Villa d’Este.
Curious fact: the villa was also the “home” of the famous composer and musician Franz Liszt who, during his stay, composed “Water Game at Villa d’Este” and performed his last concert in 1879.
Still in Lazio, the Vatican Gardens, a place dedicated to the relaxation of the holy father. How could it be otherwise given the beauty of this carefully tended little oasis? Between 500 and 600 of the world’s greatest artists and architects have shaped its appearance, and the restoration of the over 570 works contained within the gardens is presently underway. Botany finds its maximum expression here with plants and shrubs from all over the world.
The gardens are open to the public and can be visited from Monday to Saturday until 6pm and on the last Sunday of the month.
Trieste: Miramare Castle Park
Overlooking the sea, it seems to have come out of a fairy tale: the Miramare Castle Park is located on the Gulf of Trieste and is one of the most unusual Italian gardens because it contains a special area where 150 species of butterflies have found their natural habitat, not to mention the garden’s spaces that alternate skillfully between paths and ponds, and that in 2018 were visited by over 830 thousand people, making it the third most visited cultural site of the year.
Tremezzo (Lake Como): Villa Carlotta
Lake Como offers views worthy of the best movie settings, where nature explodes with its maximum expression, and the hand of man has shaped its shores by building villas and residences that are very often set in genuine parks. An example of this is Villa Carlotta in Tremezzo. Here botany enthusiasts will get their fill: different types of gardens frame the villa: from the Italianate garden, rational and geometric, to the romantic gardens, from monumental trees to the valley of the Ferns, up to a real agricultural area. Trees and shrubs, tropical plants, vegetables and roses from the most disparate corners of the world come together in a dreamlike scenario suspended between the waters of the lake and the mountains.
Ischia: La Mortella Gardens
The Mortella Gardens of Ischia are an example of true landscape architecture and will steal your hearts if you visit them. Commissioned by Lady Walton, the architect Russell Page designed the garden in 1956, integrating it with the natural rocky landscape. The area on which it extends is about 2 hectares and is divided into two parts: a garden further down the valley and one in the hills, higher up. Due to the variety of plants that it contains, it is considered a true botanical garden. An interesting area of the garden for those who want to reconnect with themselves and nature is the Thai room, surrounded by Japanese plants, lotus flowers, peonies, bamboo and much much more. The view of the island from the heights of this garden will be an indelible memory that you will take home from your 23-day trip to Italy with Dragonfly Tours. Do not hesitate to book and personalize your trip!