This Saturday and Sunday it will be possible to visit over 150 gardens throughout Italy, some open exceptionally, as part of the ‘Appuntamento in Giardino’ initiative, promoted by Apgi-Association of Parks and Gardens of Italy with the support of Ales and the sponsored by the Ministry of Culture. The event, now in its fourth edition, invites the public to discover the surprising historical, artistic, botanical and landscape richness of Italian gardens: from large historical sites to small private gardens.
A series of meetings, events, readings and special activities will complete the cultural offer aimed at the whole family. The event will also offer the opportunity to inform the general public about the activities necessary to care for, restore and protect the gardens, in view of a major national enhancement plan. A hope that is finally reflected in the National Recovery and Resilience Plan, which contains measures in favor of the heritage of Italian parks and gardens. “Culture is driving the country’s restart” declared the culture minister Dario Franceschini, underlining how “the Recovery plan introduces fundamental resources to enhance the Italian cultural heritage and its excellences such as historic parks and gardens”.
The event, which counts on the participation of almost all regions, will take place simultaneously in numerous European countries in collaboration with the initiative Meet at the gardens, testifying to the increasing attention paid to green heritage, also at an international level.
In 40% of cases these are extraordinary openings: an opportunity to admire gardens not normally open to the public or open only on special occasions, such as Buggiano Castello, where the citrus orchards and the secret gardens of the Borgo can be visited exceptionally. Some important Unesco sites will also participate in the initiative, such as Hadrian’s Villa e Villa d’Este, the Royal Palace of Caserta and of Venaria Reale or the Boboli’s Garden.
Furthermore, the participation of private historic houses is wide, which will open their own prestigious gardens, such as the Ville Torrigiani in Lucca, Tiepolo Passi in Veneto or the Rocca Meli Lupi of Soragna. In many cases it will be the owners of the houses themselves or the gardeners who welcome visitors, to tell the story of the garden and the daily commitment necessary to ensure its survival: this will be the case, for example, in the nineteenth-century park of the Roero Castle of Monticello d’Alba. In Ducal castle of Aglièinstead, it will be the gardener of the museum complex who will make visitors discover the monumental trees. There are also numerous Botanical Gardens, such as those of Rome, Naples, Bologna, Turin and some Alpine botanical gardens.
The opening of the gardens – by their very nature small ecosystems, as well as precise ‘sensors’ of environmental changes – will also be a precious opportunity to sensitize visitors on environmental and sustainability issues as in the Sustainable park of Villa Trecci, where visitors will be welcomed by the owners.
There are many special activities proposed for this event: in addition to the traditional guided tours there are workshops, yoga lessons, botanical painting courses, tastings, and musical moments, such as at the Medici villa of Cerreto Guidi, where theAcademy of Arches of San Miniato Basso will brighten the visit with magical notes under the centuries-old wisteria. There are also numerous sensory paths.
The appointment in the garden will also be an opportunity to present important restorations to the public, such as that of the plant heritage of the Horti Farnesiani or of Margherita Fountain in the Royal Palace of Caserta. The productive dimension – and with it the themes of biodiversity and sustainability – is this year the protagonist in some gardens of the South, as in the Pomona Botanical Conservatory in Salento, where you can admire collections of fruit trees, oa Favara Maredolce in Palermo, where we will talk about techniques and biodiversity of ancient Sicilian citrus cultivation.
It also adheres to “Green Parma interior“, the event that allows you to explore the most evocative and curious private gardens of the historic center of Parmesan, through which you can read the history, changes and experiences of the city, the Italian Capital of Culture 2020-21. A novelty of the 2021 edition. it is also the photographic initiative launched on Instagram, entitled: “Return to Spring” to build a story in images of the two days.