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Italy's most romantic gardens

Italy's most romantic gardens
It’s time to stop and smell the roses - and all the other flora and foliage that your heart desires too!
Whether you wish to stay lakeside, in Italy’s rural heart, or right by the coast, you’ll always find a green oasis of majestic fountains, sculptures, and perfectly manicured gardens close by. Open and in full bloom from February to November, discover Italy’s most romantic gardens that truly get our heart’s beating.

Villa Carlotta | Lake Como

Lake Como’s western shore has such a pleasant year-round climate that it’s called the Tremezzina Riviera. This sweet spot harbours the late 17th century Villa Carlotta, which is filled with art. Outside are its classical Italian gardens, where you'll find a delightful collection of camellias in spring, and roses in the summer! To top it off there’s breathtaking lake views and a woodland backdrop.

Villa Rufolo | Ravello

Seemingly suspended in mid-air, Ravello is the perfect host for Villa Rufolo’s romantic 19th century cascading gardens. These were reimagined by a Scottish botanist, who built an aqueduct to hydrate these sun-drenched mosaic flower terraces. Just driving down the cypress tree-lined avenue to this grand mansion is an experience. Savour classical music at the Ravello Festival, held here annually from June to September.

Isola Bella and Isola Madre | Lake Maggiore

Floating in Lake Maggiore lies Isola Bella, the beautiful island, which is covered by the flamboyantly Baroque gardens of a 17th century palace. White peacocks regally anoint the grounds and, with the lake and mountains as an idyllic backdrop, it’s a popular proposal spot. The island’s pièce de résistance is Teatro Massimo, featuring stacked terraces and a unicorn-topped monument. For a more modest villa and garden experience, take a boat to nearby Isola Madre.

Boboli Gardens | Florence

Tucked behind Florence’s Palazzo Pitti is one of the finest Renaissance gardens you’ll find: Boboli Gardens, which took 100 years to create. This dreamy urban haven feels like an open-air museum. From wide promenades and intimate trails to an amphitheatre, glorious sculptures, and fountains, everything is perfectly prim and brimming with meaning. Stop at the Kaffeehaus for a bird’s-eye view over Florence’s skyline.

Villa Balbianello | Lake Como

When out sailing on Lake Como, the view of Villa Balbianello’s charming, terraced gardens is what always catches the eye. With its seemingly effortless framing of the sparkling lake through columns and statues, the floral backdrop of this Baroque 18th century villa has been featured in several Hollywood blockbusters, including Casino Royale and Star Wars: Episode II Attack of the Clones.

Giardino Giusti | Verona

Oozing dreaminess, the 16th century Italian Renaissance villa garden Giardino Giusti sure does make a statement with its labyrinthine hedges, scattered statues, and cool, shaded walkways. Mozart and Goethe apparently both found their muse here. Lovers who find one another in the maze are destined for eternal love, if you’re to believe local legend. Head to the belvedere for mesmerising views over Verona.

Parco Giardino Sigurtà | Lake Garda

Tucked into the hills overlooking Lake Garda lies the public Parco Giardino Sigurtà. These sprawling Italian gardens frame the fairytale turrets of an old castle, and hold treasures of ancient woods, ornamental ponds, as well as a hedge maze, grotto, zen gardens, and a fantastical topiary garden. In the springtime, the park proudly holds Tulipma nia, a dazzling display of over one million tulips.

Villa della Pergola | Alassio

Passion will be sparked at the Italian Riviera’s Villa della Pergola, where heady scents of jasmine, eucalyptus, and hydrangea all collide in a gorgeous bouquet. While the villa dates from the 19th century, the garden was established in the 1920s and has a quintessentially English style, which is a rare find in Italy, as you embrace the desirable Mediterranean views.

Villa Cimbrone | Ravello

The heighty Amalfi Coast town of Ravello features yet again on our list, this time with the aristocratic gardens of Villa Cimbrone, which have been painstakingly restored over the last few decades. The result is a love letter to the past, where a heavenly body of botany is sprinkled with marble busts and statues, terracotta amphorae, and manicured pathways.

Villa Borghese | Rome

A green lung of Rome, Villa Borghese is a sprawling public garden just moments from the Via Del Corso and renowned Piazza Del Popolo. Within it, you’ll find a small lake where you can go paddle boating, a deer park, the artistic Borghese Gallery, and many sculptures and viewpoints. Head to the Pincio Terrace for starry-eyed sunset views over the Eternal City.

Gardens of Augustus | Capri

Despite being a short walk from the crowds of Capri, the cascading and terraced Gardens of Augustus feels like a world away. With the paradisiacal allure of ornamental flowers and greenery, they hang over a sheer cliff face.

Giardini Iblei | Sicily

Flanked by the old town of Ragusa, you’ll find an oasis in the 19th century Giardini Iblei. Its shaded palm-lined promenades provide a cool respite from the beating Sicilian sun, while its colourful blooms and hidden nooks will delight you.

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