When you think of a visit to Italy, you probably think of grand churches, important museums and delicious food. The gardens of Italy may not come directly to mind.
However, this diverse country is home to some of the loveliest gardens in the world, ranging from formal plantings to wild, rolling expanses. If you’re headed to Italy this season on an escorted vacation, make sure to find time to visit one of these beautiful gardens.
Your Globus guided vacation will give you plenty of options to see some of the best gardens of Italy!The Tivoli Gardens at the Villa d’Este
Located just outside of Rome, this elaborate, manicured gardens date from the 16th century. Designed by the grandson of Pope Alexander VI, the garden is adorned with cascading fountains, ponds, statues and a variety of majestic trees. Visitors can also tour the villa, with its frescoed rooms, and the nearby Hadrian’s Villa.
Giardini di Giusti in Verona
One of the oldest formal gardens in Italy, the Giardini di Gusti looks like it could be the set of one of Shakespeare’s Italian plays. The extensive garden was laid out in the 1400s and planted in 1570 by Agostino Giusti, a Venetian diplomat. Unlike most formal Italian estates, the villa is located in the lowest elevation on the property, and the gardens cascade upwards from the structure. Among the plantings is a labyrinth, whose legend maintains that is two lovers find themselves in the maze, they will stay together forever. This garden has been visited over the centuries by such famous persons as Goethe, Cosimo De’ Medici, Mozart and Emperor Giuseppe II.
Roseto Botanico di Cavriglia in Tuscany
This botanical garden is open to the public from the first Sunday in May to the last Sunday in June. It differs from the formal, landscaped gardens in the lake district with its open expanses and its collection of more than 7,000 roses. Located half-way between Florence and Siena, the garden makes a relaxing side trip from the hectic pace of museum-hopping in Florence.
Municipal Rose Garden in Rome
Another public garden, this delightful Roman oasis features more than 1,100 different species of roses from around the globe. Located in the shadow of the Circus Maximus, this garden has a number of unique roses, including a rose with green petals and one that changes color over time. At this site since 1950, the garden is open to the public from mid-April to mid-June. Admission is free.Giardino della Kolymbetra in Sicily
The rustic “Valley of the Temples” garden in Sicily dates back to ancient times. Even Virgil wrote about visiting this idyllic spot. Allowed to languish over the years, the garden was restored in 1999 using the plans and plantings of the original garden. Today, the garden is open to the public and filled with lemon trees, olive trees, grape vines and vegetables, all in the shadow of Agrigento’s ancient Greek temples.
While Italy may be better known for its museums, cathedrals and pastas, one of this country’s hidden (and lovely) surprises is the large number of rustic, manicured and formal gardens to be found from Verona to Genoa, from Turin to Sicily.
Besides what better way to enjoy a glass of regional wine than while strolling through the beauty of nature!
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