DURING THE LAST PART OF THE ‘SERENISSIMA’ REPUBLIC OF VENICE, THE ARISTOCRATIC FAMILIES BEGAN TO BUILD IN THE HINTERLAND MAJESTIC VILLAS WHERE THEY COULD SPEND THEIR HOLIDAYS. AMONG THESE FAMILIES, THE BARBARIGO ONE GAVE BIRTH, IN THE PRESENT PADUA’S PROVINCE, TO ONE OF TODAY MOST PRESTIGIOUS HISTORIC GARDEN IN THE WORLD, A MONUMENTAL GARDEN RICH IN NATURE, ART AND SYMBOLIC ALLEGORIES. IN 1665, IN THE ‘Valle di Sant’Eusebio’ (VALLEY OF SAINT EUSEBIO), AT THE BASE OF THE EUGANEI HILLS, INITIATED THE WORK OF THE GARDEN OF VALSANZIBIO, COMMISSIONED BY THE VENETIAN NOBLEMAN ZUANE FRANCESCO BARBARIGO, INSPIRED BY HIS FIRST-BORN GREGORIO, CARDINAL, BISHOP OF PADUA AND FUTURE SAINT, AND FOLLOWING THE PLAN DRAWN BY LUIGI BERNINI, TOP VATICAN ARCHITECT AND FOUNTAIN EXPERT, BROTHER OF GIANLORENZO. THE MAGICAL ALLEGORICAL GARDEN THEY CREATED, TODAY CELEBRATES 350 YEARS OF HISTORY: UNTOUCHED AND UNCHANGED THROUGH THE CENTURIES, IS CONSIDERED ONE OF THE MOST BEAUTIFUL AND IMPORTANT HISTORIC GARDEN IN THE WORLD AND, THUS, IT IS PART OF THE ITALIAN NATIONAL ARTISTIC HERITAGE.
The garden of Valsanzibio, masterpiece of nature and baroque architecture at the base of the Euganei Hills, is considered among the most magnificent one in Italy and in the world, and this year celebrates 350 years. In the historic garden of 7 hectares and in the adjacent park of 5 hectares, there are 800 plants and trees of over 100 different species. Famous for the boxwood plants labyrinth, the rabbits island, the water games, the fisheries and the fountains, it has several century old trees, of which more than 60% planted between 1664 and 1669. The garden of Valsanzibio is unique in the world for the abundance of Boxwood plants (Buxus sempervirens, about 60.000 square meters), for the longevity of the same plants (many boxwood plants are more than 350 years old) and for the height that these plants reach in some Boulevards (more than 5 meters tall!). The “Venetian Alley”, bordered by century old Boxwood plants about 5/6 meters tall, is a unique Alley that reproduces with the tall Boxwood’s espaliers the typical passageways bordered by buildings that you can see in Venice. Among the century old plants of the garden, we should mention the several Common Cypresses scattered around the garden and in the boulevard rising the hill behind the Villa, the gigantic Holm oaks, the Atlantic and Indian or Deodara Cedars, the Swamp, Arizona and Japanees Cypresses. Among the most imposing trees, we should mention the California Cypress (Libocedro Decurrens, the oldest specimen in Europe) next to the Rabbit Island, the White Magnolias, and, next to the rocky Eremite Grotto, the very tall Redwood or Bastard Cedar and the majestic Plane tree.
Being able to have in your garden trees arriving from the recently discovered ‘New World’, transported across two oceans and maintained alive, during the long voyage, with precious fresh water, it was a symbol of great power for the family.
Today, the most part of the boxwood plants are trimmed once a year in rotation and you need about 8 to 9 months to complete the cycle. The trimming are made by a team of specialized gardeners that have to work in pair, both in order to move the very heavy triangular wood ladders, more than 6 meters tall and specifically made century ago for the needs of Valsanzibio, as well as for positioning the levels and plumbed lines essential to preserve the geometrical shapes during the pruning. The cutting of the boxwood plants needs specific trimming techniques that make them unique in the world. Pruning the only labyrinth requires over two months of work.
From this year thanks to the agreement made by Villegrantour, it will be possible to purchase the tickets on line trough Best Union Company spa, Viva Ticket Circuit, the biggest ticket counter on line used by all the most important museum around the world.
For Valsanzibio this will be a year rich of events: seminar, shows and exhibitions.
The Garden is open from 10 to 13 hrs and from 14 hrs to sunset, every day from March to the 8th of December (Sunday and Holidays from 10 to sunset non-stop).
In 2004 The Garden of Valsanzibio was choosen for shooting “The merchant of Venice” movie, with Al Pacino and Joseph Fiennes.