Among several luxurious, stunning gardens I was fortunate to visit this May in Europe, this garden appeared to be a Secret Garden.
The feeling of being in a secluded and mystic garden never left me while we were walking on its winding paths along five shallow terraces.
The garden is considered modest in comparison with other gorgeous gardens at Lake Como in Northern Italy, but what a gem it is!
Rich in exotic botanic species, the garden cascades down to the lake and has breathtaking views of it.
Mild Mediterranean climate, abundant rains and protection from the north winds allow for luxuriant vegetation including agave, banana, magnolia, azalea, rhododendron, camellia, yucca, mahonia, palm, aspidistra, ivy, bamboo, eucalyptus, pittosporum, wisteria, lavender, roses and many others.
The tall cypress trees that gave the name to the Villa shelter this subtropical garden. It has many ramps and steps, fine statues and hidden grottos as well as cozy places to sit, relax and enjoy the views of the surrounding hills and terraces spilling into the lake.
As you view the pictures, you might feel that they were taken from different levels on a steep hillside.
In some places, the narrow paths were so overwhelmed by shrubs and vines, that one can not go further and needed to retreat. It just added to the feeling of mystery and surprise in this wonderful Secret Garden.
I decided to include all 78 pictures in one post, but break them into two parts. Please click 'Read more' after you reach the halfway point.
The Boat House:
Villa Cipressi is owned by several public firms, including the Municipality of Varenna, and is managed as a hotel by Cofely GDF Suez Group. It has 32 rooms and hosts conferences and weddings. Its Garden is free for hotel guests and open for everyone else for a small fee.
This is a place I would return to at any time.