Top five Italian gardens

villa d'este

We explore five of our favourite green spaces in Italy… how many of them have you visited and which are on your to-visit list? Photos by iStock unless otherwise stated 1. Featuring Italy’s most dramatic baroque gardens, Lake Maggiore’s Isola Bella is a horticultural paradise. The Borromeo villa occupies the centre of the island, while the […]

Five of the best Tuscan gardens

Tuscany garden

Tony Bassett of Tuscan Secrets explores a few of his favourite green spaces in Tuscany… how many have you visited? Images by PG Media; Getty Images 1 Villa Reale, Lucca Once home to Napoleon’s sister Elisa. It has several different gardens including camellias, which flower during February and March, as well as a Spanish garden, and a lemon […]

The Forgotten Garden, Florence

Beyond the palazzo… now, rising elegantly up the slope was a series of manicured terraces, and a grand stairway climbing with them Oltrarno means ‘beyond the Arno’, and refers to the part of Florence south of the river. Although you can find many famous sights there – the Pitti Palace, Boboli Gardens, and Piazzale Michelangelo […]

Italian roses in bloom

May in Italy is the month of the rose – and the Italians do like their roses. Gardens up and down the country, public and private, are now coming alight with their odours and blooms… While we in the United Kingdom have to wait until at least June to enjoy our roses – “When summer’s […]

Garden retreats, La Mortella

A great love story and an indomitable passion have shaped one of the most memorable garden landscapes in Italy. We re-visit the exotic retreat on the island of Ischia and remember the wonderful Lady Walton… All great gardens are love stories – the love of the gardener for his or her creation, but La Mortella is something special. […]

Gardens of the Northern Lakes

Historically a trailblazer in garden design, Italy still wows with its gorgeous giardini. Fleur Kinson finds variety in all its splendour on the shores of the northern lakes. Italy, like England, is one of the great gardening nations of Europe and was hugely influential in the evolution of ideas about green spaces arranged for pleasure […]

The Waters & Gardens of Ischia

Thermal pools and lush foliage make some parts of the island of Ischia, the Green Island, a veritable Eden. Hannah Bellis shares the best places to restore yourself… Ischia. The ‘green island’ in the Bay of Naples. You would be forgiven for thinking it’s nickname comes from the lush vegetation, and that is certainly part […]

The Gardens of Venice & Veneto

Patricia Cleveland-Peck revels in the peace and tranquillity to be found walking among the many gardens around Venice. Join her for a tour of the undiscovered secrets of La Serenissima… Everyone loves Venice and everyone from Ruskin to Donna Leon has written about it – so is there anything left to say?  Well yes. One […]