There are more than 40 stunning historic gardens in Bel Paese that can be visited with personalized tours of Italy. Created by wealthy artistic patrons they are like open air museums filled with sculptures, fountains, water features designed by talented artists and craftsmen in different eras. Here is our pick of the most spectacular gardens.
Villa Carlotta, Lake Como
Extending over 17 acres the romantic garden has 1,000 trees, 400 camelias, 250 rhododendrons and 200 roses. Centuries old huge cedars and sequoias thrive in the mild climate here. Some parts with stairs and terraces, statues and fountains date back to the XVII Century. The garden is famous for its magnificent displays of rhododendrons and azaleas in bloom in springtime.
Villa D’Este, Tivoli
One of the finest Renaissance villas and gardens in Italy, the Villa d’Este is known for its spectacular fountains and water features with theatrical effects. Cardinal Ippolito d’Este who commissioned the best masters and hydraulic engineers to create the garden wanted to impress visitors and show off his wealth. Despite the centuries that have passed the Path of One Hundred Fountains, the Rometta Fountain, Fontana del Bicchierone have not lost its majestic beauty.
Torrigiani Gardens, Florence
Spreading over 17 acres this is the largest privately owned garden within a European city. The oldest parts of the Giardini Torrigiani date back to the 1500s. With its gentle hills, meadows, Baroque sculptures and romantic bridges the garden provides a peaceful respite from the hustle and bustle of the busy streets of Florence.
Giusti Garden, Verona
Designed in the 16th century the Giusti Garden is filled with age-old trees, gargoyles, fountains, grottoes. Some of the most famous visitors include Goethe and Mozart who admired views over the city of Verona from here. Do like locals: pack a picnic basket and relax under the cypress trees listening to the chime of church bells in the city.
Photos via Flickr by: Paula Funnell, M.Maselli, Radomir Cernoch