Among the ten gardens which we were fortunate to visit during our European trip in May, the Botanical Garden at Villa Carlotta in Tremezzo (Lake Como District, Lombardy) was the busiest. Visitors were arriving by ferry from other towns around the lake and by tour buses from Milan.
Even so, the garden was not crowded, since the villa itself absorbed many visitors, and the size of the garden allowed others to disperse around its grounds.
The history of this place goes back to the XII century. In 1801, it was acquired by Giovanni Battista Sommariva who set a goal to surround the house with beautiful plants from all over the world.
A great garden served as an owner's status in those times.
In 1843, the Prussian princess, Marianna, became the villa's owner and gave it as a wedding gift to her daughter, Carlotta. Carlotta's husband, Giorgio II, Duchy of Sachsen-Meiningem, loved botany and did a lot to improve the garden.
The garden changed while belonging to different owners. It started as an English style garden with a naturalistic feel, and now, it has all the features of an Italian garden - geometric forms, staircases, sculptures and fountains, grottoes and terraces.
The acidic soil is perfect for growing rhododendrons and azalias. There are 150 varieties of them here, and they were blooming nicely in May when we were there. They are joined by camellias, magnolias, papyrus, citruses, plane trees (Platanus), Japanese maples, palm trees, 25 types of bamboo, climbing roses, tree ferns, wisteria, succulents, perennials, etc.
The old trees and majestic views provide added charm to the garden.
The garden now belongs to the Italian state.
Mars and Venus
My favorite view:
A huge ravine was transformed into a multilevel forest. Its streams, waterfalls and stones create an atmosphere of calm, tranquility and peacefulness in this shady area of the garden.
What a romantic, enchanted place with millions of rhododendron petals on the ground:
It's Bellagio on the other side of the lake with Villa Melzi and its gorgeous garden. The owners of the villas, Giovanni Battista Sommariva and Francesco Melzi, were trying to outdo each other in richness and exotic plants in their gardens. An interesting article about it can be found here: Garden Rivalry
Tourists and dogs alike were happy being in such a beautiful place on a sunny day.
It's amazing how quiet and peaceful we found the garden despite a lot of visitors.
***Copyright 2014 TatyanaS