A one-day intimate passage through the “secret” gardens of La Serenissima (Most Serene Republic of Venice), together with keen experts on botanical and historical parks. An unusual tour that leads to the discovery of some of the most enchanting lost landscapes of Venice. You will look at in miniature paradises embedded in the magic labyrinth of the Venetian “calli” and canals. An amazing and unexpected experience that soon will catch your imagination.
We start with a guided tour of the garden set in the seventeenth century Soranzo Cappello’s Palace, (now headquarter of the Northern east Board for the Conservation of Landscape and Architectural Heritage).
The wide garden area, located in Fondamenta Gradenigo nearby Santa Lucia railways station, still shows unaltered same set-up and features of the Venetian Manson gardens, which were characterized by the charming neoclassical loggia placed as a backcloth. The recent renewal work directed by the green architect Giuseppe Rallo, has enriched this garden with colourful flowers, re-creating panoramic views of a decadent appeal as they were a quote from the sheets of two master-works “Il fuoco” (The Flame of Life) of Gabriele d'Annunzio, set in this proper garden and "The Aspen Papers" of Henry James, set in the nearby garden of Gradenigo palace.
Walking on we can reach sestiere of Cannaregio passing side-along the silent Fondamenta of Madonna dell’Orto, where we will take a pause for free lunch, rest or individual visits if request. We suggest you the Church of Madonna dell’Orto, entrance fee € 3,00, which is one of the most beautiful gothic church in town; at its interior you can also admire some of the masterpieces of Tintoretto.
After lunch the “secret” places tour restarts and reaches one of the ancient and most charming garden in town, which is set just beside its famous church: the Garden of Rizzo Patarol’s Palace. Renowned historians, botanists and herbs keeners have quoted the building as the “Venice unique beauty to be pointed out to all foreigners”. The garden is placed within the north lagoon and the seventeenth century palace to which is entitled and which is now a luxury hotel, but in ancient time it has been ranking as the seat of King Savoia Embassy first, France Embassy head-office later on and finally a Monastery.
This magic place was build thanks to Lorenzo Patarol, man of great knowledge and famous collector, but most of all he’s the author of the “herbarium” which is still now preserved in the Correr Civic Museum. It was early in the seventeenth century when he decided to give life to a botanic garden right in this area as it was far from all the focus political centres and rich in green plantations. His successors further on enriched and reorganized the area according to current times aesthetic and fashion guidelines, thus the garden has always resulted as a beautiful and unique space. In the summer of 2002 the property launched a huge project of re-qualification of the greenish: a careful study of the “herbarium” written by Lorenzo Patarol has made possible to find out which plant specimens originally grew-up in this area. Henceforth the garden possibly features several collections of botanic specimens, particularly roses, which were very numerous in the past, clematis, hydrangeas and bulbs.
We complete our Venetian atypical tour by visiting the garden of Contarini dal Zaffo’s Palace, one of the most famous garden of the Renaissance Venice due to its ingenious perspectives, but the place also became in vogue for the frequent artistic and literary convictions which took place in it as well as for the visits of notable Venetian and foreign guests.
Early in the 20th century, the fascination of this place also appealed Gabriele D’Annunzio who under spell gave over some pages to the garden he described as a space of vaguely decadent appeal suspended between “rooms of green” as borders to ancient columns and garden sculptures.
Recently enough the site has been distributed among several religious institutes, each one thereafter handled its portion up to these days. Nontheless the changes and transformations occurred in the history did not damage the charm of the place, its gorgeous landscapes and views on the open lagoon.
The tour plan might possibly differ according to timetable changes but not in its contents.