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Latium’s Great Gardens (Italy)

500 years of art and landscape history in 18 outstanding gardens, a unique artistic and botanical heritage

A journey that will take you to discover the botanical treasure trove of the papal residence of Castel Gandolfo, continuing in the heart of Rome through the superb Vatican Gardens and the secret garden of Palazzo Colonna on the Quirinal Hill, to reach Gaeta with the important collection of palms of the Nicola del Roscio Foundation, many of which here originate from rare seeds or are endangered in their original locations.

Along the way you will discover the Roseto Vacunae Rosae, (Roccantica, RI) the first rose garden in the world in terms of variety and size. The rose garden offers a historical, cultural and artistic journey into the world of the rose. You will come across the monstrous wonders of the Sacro Bosco di Bomarzo (Bomarzo, VT), a unique park of its kind that offers its visitors a range of emotions and suggestions that are always different with every visit.  You will be enchanted as you stroll through the Renaissance jewels of Villa Lante (Bagnaia, VT) and Palazzo Farnese (Caprarola, VT) and again here in the Viterbo area, which boasts the highest concentration of historic gardens in the world, the Italian garden has reached its highest expression in the Ruspoli Castle in Vignanello. Its garden is perhaps the most elegant, most sophisticated and most celebrated example in the world.

Dulcis in fundo every self-respecting itinerary has a stop not to be missed and in this one, the ancient Latin city Tibur, today Tivoli, where Villa d’Este is located, is definitely worth a visit. An Italian masterpiece of garden art, a Unesco World Heritage Site, with its impressive concentration of fountains, nymphaea, grottoes, water features and hydraulic music, it is a model emulated many times in Mannerist and Baroque European gardens. The walk then continues among the historic ruins of Emperor Hadrian’s (117 – 138 AD) suburban residence of Villa Adriana, which he began building in the Tiburtine area on his return to Rome in July 118.

Along the way, you can lose yourself in the sea of peonies at the Moutan Botanical Centre (Vitorchiano, VT) or in the sea of roses at Palazzo Patrizi (Bracciano, RM), allow yourself the luxury of strolling through the closed gates of the Botanical Gardens of Stigliano (Canale Monterano, RM) or Villa Bell’Aspetto (Nettuno, RM) or let yourself be enchanted by the gardens of Lavinia Taverna at Tor San Lorenzo, just outside Rome. The journey through the wonders of Lazio ends with the Giardini di Orazio – Castello di Mandela (Mandela, RM), which will surprise you with its secret garden: a green terrace overlooking the memorable landscape around the castle, already immortalised in the paintings of famous painters and praised by the poet Orazio.

Source: Grandi Giardini Italiani

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