Monday, May 16, 2011

Northern Lazio's Gorgeous Gardens

Climbing roses  and cypress trees at Michelini
        On  the outskirts of Viterbo within  a twenty kilometre radius, four historic gardens have been enchanting visitors to the area for centuries. Each  is unique  and worth an entire day's visit  but  two state-owned gardens,Villa Lante in Bagnaia and the gardens of Palazzo Farnese at Caprarola,  a half-hour's uphill drive away, could be done  on the same day. They are open every day but Monday.
Cypress trees  are found usually near cemeteries

 Two other historic gardens -Sacro Bosco in Bomarzo and  Castello Ruspoli   in Vignanello- are privately owned and charge more for  entrance.  They are an interesting  contrast with the younger, modern  gardens such as  the  University's  Botanical Gardens (celebrating its 20th birthday this year) and  the Tarocchi Gardens with its artistic sculptures located in nearby  Capalbio, Tuscany.

 Hidden near  the hot thermal pools   of Le Masse di San Sisto and Bullicame near  Viterbo, the  Orto Botanico is  famous for  its  collection  of  gigantic cacti.
Orto Botanico   in Viterbo

a 300 year old olivona    at Michelini
Villa Michelini  and  owner  Tiziana 


Garden experts  including  Sofia Varoli Piazza    
Lavender  rules !

Lavender  is big time here, just as in Provence, and the perfumes, soaps and objects produced by the  consortium of  local  lavender  farmers can be found in the newly opened outlet  shop,  Essenze d'Etruria  in Tuscania . 

Looking for  flowering gardens ?  Check out  Vivai Michelini     a nursery specialized  in decorative trees and landscaping.

Another magical spot is the  privately owned peony gardens in Vitorchiano   
  that offers  free  guided tours in the months of  April and May. 

Much more about the area's   modern and historic gardens  in "Etruria-travel,history and itineraries in Central Italy"  which can be found in local bookshops and tourism information points . For  signed  copies  order   directly  from the author through my website .   Feel free to leave your comments  and  suggestions for  touring  gardens .  


  1. Hey, we love these gardens. Have a look at this gorgeous imagery form the same region.

  2. That is so awesome :) Very very happy for you guys.I also loved gardens so much especially botanical gardens.
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