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Three open-access Italian gardens

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One of Italy’s characteristic is its abundance of villas from end to end of its whole territory. The villas were built by wealthy and noble families to show their relevance and importance within their territory and to impress foreign guests. Along with the villas, beautiful and elegant gardens were set up, mostly to give a chance to prominent visitors to fully enjoy their stay. Nowadays most of these gardens have became open to the public and it is possible to visit them; here are three ideas for who’d like to spend a day in a unique way.

Barberini Garden, Castel Gandolfo, Rome

Castel Gandolfo has always been known in Italy and abroad as the Pope’s summer residence, it still is, actually, and just recently its gardens were open to the public. Built over the ruins of an ancient Roman villa the garden is located on the south shore of lake Albano, has a great belvedere and can be visited even while raining thanks to Roman cryptoporticus, or covered passageway. Plus, there is a magnificent magnolia collection and a model farm that grows produce for the pope’s table.

Castello Visconti, Grazzano Visconti, Emilia Romagna

For who has some knowledge of Italian history during the Renaissance the name Visconti surly rings a bell. This family, in fact, was a major player in Italy’s political and economical framework at the time. The castle they built in 14th-century is still theirs (an important Italian film director, Luchino Visconti, spent here is childhood) but is possible to visit it in the summer and enjoy the beauty of tall cypresses, old pines and massive oaks as well as colourful roses and hydrangeas. The atmosphere here is nothing less than magical: both the gardens and the village are very well kept and perfect to wander around and let them inspire you

Villa Reale di Marlia, Lucca, Tuscany

After an important recent restoration, Napoleon Bonaparte’s sister former mansion welcomes visitors with trees, camellias, and shrubs; plus, a massive green lawn that rolls down until the must-have small lake. Moreover, the Spanish style garden is impressive as well, with its fountains and rich flora. The Park of Villa Reale of Marlia covers an area of 16 hectares and is the result of a complex series of transformations which witness two different periods of architectural construction among the villas in the Lucca area: One part of the park has preserved the original 17th century, while the other has been designed in line with the fashion for English landscaped gardens.


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The author

Federico Spadoni

Federico Spadoni

I am Federico, I was born and raised in Italy. Sport and news fanatic and active volunteer. I am currently living in Athens, Greece. I write about the central parts of Italy.

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