Elixir of scents and colors

The sea and the Alps. Between them around six-hundred-thousand species of flowers. A huge quantity and an excellent quality of bio-diversities that covers Italy, due to a number of factors, for example the type of soil, the wind, the rain, the closeness to the continent and a rather calm sea, the Mediterranean. And the action of the human beings that protect nature and turn it into wonderful gardens and botanical gardens.

An ability that is rooted in the past, in the famous “gardens in the Italian style”, a type of gardening that was born in Italy in the XVIth century – based on geometrical shapes and perfect symmetry -, the perfect evolution of the Renaissance gardens that raise the idea of “beauty” to an independent category that surpasses the simple shape’s decoration.
Since Donato Bramante the gardens have become independent entities: the garden is a delightful place where you can meet friends and guests. There are plenty of gardens in Italy and they all deserve to be seen, wonderful sets made of green carpets lighted by history, wonderful scents and a triumph of flowers and plants.

Each Italian region features its own masterpiece, from the gardens of the Borromean Islands on Lake Maggiore to the Sabaudian Residences in Piedmont, from the Garden of Villa Durazzo Pallavicini in Genoa to the Botanical Gardens of Hanbury in Ventimiglia (Liguria), among the most famous. The Lake Garda is the frame of the amazing garden that surrounds the Vittoriale of Italians - the house of Gabriele d’Annunzio - Lombardy is spread with villas and historical gardens and the same goes for Tuscany and Veneto that are rich in historical residences. Some names? Villa Carlotta and Villa Varenna (the former in the province of Como, the latter near Lecco, both in Lombardy), Parco Sigurtà – fifty hectares, one of the biggest in Italy and the Giardino Giusti in Verona (Veneto) dating back to the XVIth century while in Tuscany the garden surrounding the Medici Villa of Castello, where the Academy of the bran (Accademia della Crusca) is based! In Lazio, the Gardens of Ninfa (Latina) and Villa Lante of Bagnaia (in the province of  Viterbo) stand out, they are among the best Italian “green” creations in the XVIth century, designed by Jacopo Barozzi from Vignola, known as “il Vignola”, among the best representatives of the Italian Mannerism. In Campania Villa San Michele (in the Island of Capri) stands out because of its flowerings throughout the year while the Palermo Botanical Garden is amazing and also the Kolymbetra Garden, the Valley of Temples (Agrigento), the triumph of the Italian Mediterranean beauty.

Did you know that…
Every year, in May, you can visit the Iris Garden in Florence, it is entirely dedicated to this flower. The garden was created in 1954 to give hospitality to a yearly International Competition for the best variety of Iris. It contains around three-thousand types of  flowers. The iris is also the symbol of Florence: the town’s coat of arms shows the iris.

Luciana Francesca Rebonato

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