For all lovers of greenery shaped by Italian creativity, here you will find a list of the 10 most spectacular gardens and parks in Italy worth a visit. There is a close connection between Italy and art, artistic culture is also magnificently embedded in the splendid gardens located across the best regions of the country. Campania, Liguria, Piedmont, Tuscany, Lazio, Umbria and other regions of Italy will invite you to discover the ten most spectacular Italian gardens! History, nature, culture and beauty are the ingredients that make Italy a splendid miniature Eden standing out among other countries.
Garden of Ninfa near Latina, Lazio
Open only during certain periods, it is visited by about fifty thousand tourists a year. Defined by the New York Times as “the most beautiful garden in the world”, the fascinating garden of Ninfa was built on the ruins of the medieval city of Ninfa.
Lelia Caetani, the last descendant of the noble owner family, was the one who took care of the rearrangement of the property, making it a real English garden, with a large number of plants. The garden is also crossed by the river Ninfa and numerous streams.
Since 1976, a WWF oasis has been established around the garden to protect local flora and fauna, and in 2000 the whole area of Ninfa was declared a naturalistic monument.
Gardens of the Venaria Reale, Turin, Piedmont
Part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site, the La Venaria Reale complex is an environmental-architectural unicum with extraordinary charm. An immense, varied and evocative space, where the visitor can be involved in magical atmospheres collected in a context of cultural and leisure attractions. You can visit it on your own or with guided tours, or in a fun way with the “Freccia di Diana” train, the gondola or the horse carriage.
During the warmer months, concerts, shows, and exhibitions take place in contact with nature.
Royal Palace of Caserta Park, Campania
The Royal Park, an integral part of the project presented by the architect Luigi Vanvitelli to the sovereigns, is inspired by the gardens of the great eighteenth-century European residences, merging the Italian tradition of the Renaissance gardens with the characteristics introduced by André Le Nôtre in Versailles.
The works, with the delimitation of the area and the planting of the first plants, began in 1753.
It is a riot of greenery enriched by magnificent fountains and statues. Long avenues that connect an Italian garden with an English one, pools populated with fish and the triumphal Great Waterfall at the bottom of the park, further embellished by a mythological scene that seems to come alive under the eyes of the spectator! Diana, surrounded by some nymphs, is about to immerse herself in the waters while Actaeon, guilty of having dared to look at the Goddess in her nakedness, is already partially transformed into a deer; around him, you find the agitated dogs that will tear him to pieces.
Tebaide Park, Siena, Tuscany
Inside Villa di Cetinale there is a curious garden, built between 1698 and 1705. The park takes its name from the desert area of Upper Egypt, inhabited in the Middle Ages by Christian hermits. Not surprisingly, along the path that winds through the woods, you will come across stone crosses, sculptures of saints, statues of praying friars, votive chapels and frescoes.
Gardens of Villa Medicea di Castello, Florence, Tuscany
On the Florentine hills, there is the headquarters of the Accademia della Crusca. It is surrounded by large and well-kept gardens, arranged on three terraces. The first consists of 16 flower beds with a large basin fountain in the centre. If you happen to travel in the surroundings of Florence, you cannot help but take a half-day to visit these wonderful gardens.
Miramare Castle Park, Trieste, Friuli Venezia Giulia
Overlooking the Gulf of Trieste, the park of this enchanting fairytale-like castle on the sea contains a great variety of plants. Vast grassy spaces, winding paths and ponds create this splendid corner of greenery worthy of a Prince. Inside, you will also find the Butterfly Garden, a particular environment that hosts 150 species of Lepidoptera making this garden even more entrancing.
La Scarzuola, Montegabbione, Umbria
Designed by architect Tomaso Buzzi, among trees, paths, strange statues, stairways, bizarre buildings, theatres and monuments you will enjoy a unique experience in a surreal garden. A strange, magical, symbolic, esoteric place deliberately utopian, so conceived by its creator.
Sigurtà Garden Park, Valeggio sul Mincio, Veneto
In Veneto, we find Sigurtà Garden Park, a pleasant mix of history, culture and nature, managed for 210 years by various owners. Later, in 1941, it was purchased by the Sigurtà family, still the current owner. Do not miss the spring blooms: hyacinths, daffodils and many, many tulips. This garden is the richest in Southern Europe and the most important in Italy for these flowers.
The terraced gardens of the villa are home to tens of thousands of plants, spread over an area of approximately 160,000 m² and are covered by 7 kilometres of avenues.
Villa Grock, Imperia, Liguria
A magical and mysterious place, wanted by “the king of clowns” who came to rest here. Villa Grock, named after Charles Adrien Wettach (considered the greatest clown of all time) is an incredible and extravagant architectural and decorative mix of rococo, liberty, art-deco and oriental elements, all full of esoteric and freemason symbolism.
The beauty, charm and mystery of this enchanted place of the Riviera di Ponente are ready to satisfy the visitors’ curiosity after the careful restoration completed in 2006. The complete recovery of the garden, both from the point of view of the flora and for the consolidation of the structures, allows today to rediscover the atmosphere designed by Adrien Wettach himself, who had a great passion for plants. Overall, the park reflects the plants’ heritage typical of the historic gardens of the Riviera. The well-defined walkways invite to strolls, while all around the spindle columns, the bold arches, the absolutely unique decorations, the fountains and the pond with its oriental-inspired bridge, complete the enthralling and fairytale setting.
It was Grock himself who led the project signed by the technician Armando Brignole, therefore it is not surprising that the originality of this villa is difficult to define. Rather than attempting to bring it back to a style, it is instead appropriate to consider it a sort of self-portrait, an expression of an extraordinary, playful and creative personality.
Villa Carlotta, Tremezzo, Lombardy
On Lake Como, this beautiful villa is known not only for the works of art it contains but also for its splendid garden. The town of Tremezzo is located in one of the most beautiful spots on the lake. The villa, imposing but sober, stands on the top of the beautiful and rich garden, whose development is favoured in flowering by the particular climate. The property enjoys fantastic views of the Bellagio peninsula and the mountains surrounding the lake. Its garden is of great historical and architectural value. In it, there are citrus pergolas, hedges of camellias, 150 varieties of azaleas, rhododendrons, tropical plants, the valley of southern ferns, palms, cedars, the bamboo garden and secular conifers. The greenhouse, used in winter for citrus fruits, has been transformed into an interesting museum of ancient agricultural tools.
Daniela De Luca is CEO at Home in Italy. Home in Italy is a luxury villa rental company offering high end holiday villa experiences throughout the best regions of Italy since 1993.