The gardens around Lake Como and Lake Maggiore, in the far north of Italy, are admired throughout the world for their beauty and variety in a magnificent natural location.
This book sets out to become the standard work on the gardens of the Italian lakes as there is nothing of this kind on the market at the moment. It will appeal both to the specialist and enthusiast preparing for a visit.
The common factor for all these gardens is their setting in this landscape of exceptional scenery. Lake Como is a deep lake hemmed in like a fjord by towering mountains. Lake Maggiore has more the character of an inland sea, with ferries crossing to the famous island gardens for an afternoon in another world. Both lakes are lined with the towers, villas and grand hotels that speak of a complex history including key events in Italy's struggle to achieve nationhood, inspiration for a string of illustrious writers and composers, and a long line of distinguished visitors.
The gardens include:
Villa Melzi, Bellagio: an early 19th-century romantic park on the lake shore;
Villa Carlotta, Cadenabbia: a terraced 17th-century property with woodland;
Villa del Balbianello, Lenno: a famously picturesque loggia;
Villa D Este, Cernobbio: a 16th-century cascade garden with royal connections;
Villa Cicogna Mozzoni, Bisuschio: an intact 16th-century villa garden;
Villa Della Porta Bozzolo, Casalzuigno: a rural baroque garden;
Isola Bella, Stresa: a well-known island garden;
Isola Madre, Stresa: an island retreat of flowers and birds;
Villa San Remigio, Pallanza: an Edwardian garden made by two lovers;
Villa Tranto, Pallanza: one of the world's great woodland gardens.