Around this time of year, many are trying to discover their green thumbs. While my green thumb has yet to make an appearance, I can appreciate a good garden when I see one.
Traveling usually presents itself to countless gardens and parks. While some consist of nothing more than a jungle gym, others provide fodder for floral fascination.
In Italy, a good garden isn’t hard to come by, even in the hearts of some of the country’s most visited cities.
Nothing compares to seeing Italy in bloom, when flowers prove works of art aren’t just limited to museums in the country. Here are a few of Italy’s tempting gardens you will want to see in bloom perhaps just to inspire that green thumb.
Isola Madre, Lago Maggiore—Translating into “the mother island” and rightfully so, Isola Madre is the largest of the Borromeo islands on Lago Maggiore. It holds not only a 16th century Renaissance palace the Borromeo family used to occupy, but it also contains extensive and complete botanical gardens. Apart from the flowers of bright fuchsias and radiating reds, some of the strangest looking birds roam the grounds, unfazed by passersby. The azaleas blossom to their potential in May, giving those peacocks something to stare at as they wander with the funniest of haircuts.
Giardino di Boboli, Florence—Most of the Boboli Gardens of Florence are landscaped and green, just as the Medici family wanted the space to be. A few flowers and statues scatter amongst footpaths and sunbathing tourists. However, at the top of it all and seemingly at the top of Florence is the Rose Garden next to the Porcelain Museum. When the roses are in bloom, Barbie pink fills this space. Take one sniff of the air and you aren’t just on top of Florence with views of the Duomo, but you are also in a rose heaven.
Giardini della Villa Comunale, Taormina—With a rumbling volcano watching over and a sea crashing below, Giardini della Villa Comunale sets up in an ideal location in one of Sicily’s more touristy towns. While Taormina can seem a tad overpriced, these gardens are free to roam. The Englishwoman Florence Trevelyan designed the stretch in Taormina. Tropical plants and flowers dangle across arches and pathways. Grab a seat on one of the many benches facing the sea. This garden’s appeals are its views of snow topped Mount Etna and the Sicilian coastline.
What is your favorite garden in Italy?