The Storico Giardino Garzoni, one of the most beautiful in Italy, represents a felicitous synthesis between Renaissance geometry and the spectacular quality of the high Baroque.
The Storico Giardino Garzoni is an 18th-century wonder that has remained virtually intact until now. It is the result of two centuries of work, begun in the sixteenth century, which transformed a vegetable plot and a hunting grove beside the country home of the Garzoni counts into a monument to artistic taste and the good life, with ingenious use of water and an exquisite selection of plants. This landscape architecture exploits the apparent difficulties of the steep terrain, transforming them into splendid and unique features. It is a triumph of the spirit of the eighteenth-century Enlightenment, which pursued knowledge and elevated consciousness through the senses and pleasure.
Thanks to this, we now have a landscaped monument that is unique in Europe, created in the splendid era that produced the gardens of the Lucchesi villas, which share common echoes and inspirations with gardens such as those of the Palace of Caserta and Bergpark Wilhelmshöhe in Kassel.
A magical experience
Wandering through the wonders of this extraordinary place, with cool, evocative artificial caves, theatres created from boxwood hedges, statues of satyrs, gods and goddesses, animals and biblical, historical and folkloric figures, and dense bamboo groves, is a magical experience. The entire garden, with its symbols and white figures emerging from the midst of the greenery (and also hidden – try finding the Turk!), seems to present visitors with a narrative, which at times can be enigmatic.
Let your imagination roam free as you enjoy the variety of plants, the discreet irrigation system supplying the water features, waterfalls and fountains, based largely on that of the eighteenth century, the shady pathways leading from the Water Staircase to fascinating places such as the Maze (recommended to courting couples, as it is said to ensure marriage and lasting romance!), the Greenery Theatre and the Avenue of the Poor, lined by picturesque figures.
The unique and special Bathroom Pavilion offers bathtubs of all types and shapes, with each space designed to be concealed from all the others. Not even the small orchestra that entertained the ladies and gentlemen from a small platform while they “bathed” could see what was happening below them. The guests could therefore enjoy the pleasure of the cool water with the utmost discretion, or indulge in naughtier amusements if they so wished.
The Garzoni Garden forms a single complex with the Villa, which stands beside it and partially overlooks it. In ancient times, it was a fortress guarding the village of Castello, then it became the country home of the Garzoni nobles, and finally a luxurious villa and monumental garden, intended as a status symbol to reflect their economic and political power and cultural superiority. The steep hill, which seemed an obstacle to the creation of a large, prestigious garden, became an amazing setting of greenery and water, while the large house was also being transformed into a grand and luxurious villa, with the cool Summer Building and chapel concealed behind it.
Inside the park it’s possible to visit the Butterfly House where tropical and equatorial butterflies – flying flowers – live, feed, breed and fly, alive and free, in a lush tropical garden housed within a glass building. It’s a garden within the garden.