Villa Arvedi: Perfection in an Italian Landscape Garden

Villa Arvedi Parterre Detail Photo © Alice Joyce

Departing Venice on a June morning, we drove on to Verona Province to take in the serene beauty of Villa Arvedi. An opportunity had presented to tour with the elegant, dignified Signora who resides at the Villa. It is an understatement to say the renowned formal Italian landscape captured my heart and imagination. From the magnificent frescos adorning the interiors to perfect layout of the parterres, memories of Villa Arvedi will remain with me forever.

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Valsanzibio .. A Baroque Dream

Valsanzibio Rainbow Fountain Putto  Photo © Alice Joyce

My Italian sojourn took advantage of the accommodating guidance and transport provided by ‘The Other Side of Venice – Veneto Tours,’ with Miriam at the helm. We departed Venice early one morning for a day trip to the beautiful countryside of the Veneto, southwest of Padova. The destination: a dream-like Baroque masterpiece, VALSANZIBIO, with a magnificent landscape that can be traced back to 1669 and the Venetian aristocrat, Zuane Francesco Barbarigo – the breathtaking layout created by none other than the Vatican architect, Bernini.

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Historic Gardens

Villa Lante: Touring Italian Gardens

Villa Lante Stone Table [Photo © Alice Joyce]

The elements of a Renaissance garden come together in a poetic harmony at Villa Lante, northeast of Rome in the village of Bagnaia. Often quoted author of Italian Villas and Their Gardens, the novelist Edith Wharton found the setting to be a magical place when she visited in 1903. The survival of these gardens is commendable, as so many of the period have now vanished. Attributed to the great Mannerist architect, Vignola, Villa Lante began as the dream of Cardinal Gambara in the 16th century. The conversion of a hunting preserve became the glorious landscaped grounds we see today. Cardinal Peretti-Montalto tales credit for the creation of the central Fountain of the Moors.

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