Italy's Beautiful Gardens
Collected by Susan Van Allen
Tranquil experiences of La Dolce Vita await in Italy's gardens. Each one has a distinct personality, reflecting its creator, blending greenery, sculpture, and fountains.
Via del Rossellino, 72, 50135 Firenze FI, Italy
This small garden (only 3 acres) combines a graceful mix of Italian and formal English styles--it's so pretty I feel prettier the moment I step on the grounds. Landscape architects from around the world come here to study it, and I've often seen...
Viale della Marina, 40-42, 00122 Lido di Ostia RM, Italy
According to legend, Rome’s first orange tree—St. Dominic’s gift to the pope—was planted in Giardino degli Aranci (Garden of the Oranges) in the 13th century. The secluded park provides a panoramic view of the city, from...
Costa S. Giorgio, 2, 50125 Firenze FI, Italy
The Bardini Garden is one of Florence's best kept secrets. It was built in the 12th century as part of a large estate owned by the Mozzi family. During the 20th century it was closed for many years and only reopened in 2005 after significant...
Piazzale Napoleone I, 00197 Roma RM, Italy
Encompassing early 200 acres of rolling parkland, Villa Borghese is Rome's verdant heart and everyone's favorite place for an afternoon walk. The vast gardens are criss-crossed with picturesque paths, where visitors can meander past ancient...
Piazza Santo Spirito, 9, 50125 Firenze FI, Italy
Once home to the Medici princes, Palazzo Pitti is now our portal to Renaissance Florence. It is divided into six sections and, after three visits, I still cannot choose a favorite. The left wing is comprised of the Royal Apartments—a section that...
Piazza Pitti, 1, 50125 Firenze FI, Italy
Via Santa Chiara, 26, 84010 Ravello SA, Italy
Your long walk along the narrow paths of Ravello to reach the Villa Cimbrone will be well rewarded. The fabled Terrace of Infinity lives up to any superlative you may have read about it (American writer Gore Vidal called the...
Strada Pedemontana, 58, 58011 Capalbio GR, Italy
A quiet flat road, a little inland from the beach, brings you to this exuberant, hidden treasure of Tuscany--Niki de Saint Phalle's Tarot Garden. It was her dream project--to create life size mosaic sculptures representing the figures of the Tarot...
Corso Montecarlo, 43, 18039 Ventimiglia IM, Italy
North of Genoa, you'll discover this 45-acre spot, dramatically set on the slopes of a hill bordered by the sparkling sea, covered with exotic plants. It was created in 1867 by an Englishmen, Sir Thomas Hanbury. The visit can be strenuous,...
Piazza Trento, 5, 00019 Tivoli RM, Italy
When Cardinal Ippolito d'Este narrowly lost the Papal election, he assuaged his frustrations by embellishing a spectacular villa in Tivoli, a village in the hills east of Rome. The villa itself was brilliantly outfitted in 16th century frescoes,...
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