Historical gardens and parks in Emilia-Romagna
Nature & Outdoor

Historical gardens and parks in Emilia-Romagna

by /// August 31, 2021 /// Estimated reading time: 4 minutes

Nature & Outdoor

Nature & Outdoor


Nature & Outdoor

Nature & Outdoor


When we talk about art, we instinctively think about those figurative expressions like painting, sculpture, architecture, and similars that recall, in one way or another, a concept of beauty that has been defining our beauty and moral standards over the last centuries.

There are other expressive realities though that are able to touch the human soul, that conquer one’s heart through grace and simplicity. The HISTORICAL GARDENS AND PARKS, for instance, are right one of those: they are real living monuments designed by a human hand that are able to praise the aesthetic beauty of big villas or stately homes dotting our Peninsula still today.

Today you can walk along the avenues shrouded in the beauty of colours and the richness of scents where lords and aristocrats of ancient times took once important political decisions and let themselves go to the lightest and most amusing levity that life could give.

Because of the charm of this topic, we have collected some outstanding examples in Emilia Romagna. In order to do so, we have been helped by Grandi Giardini Italiani, the network of excellence grounded by the English Judith Wade, which has been collecting since 1997 the most beautiful gardens in Italy, promoting the so-called Horticultural Tourism.

Castello di Grazzano Visconti

Where: Viale del Castello, 2 | Grazzano Visconti (Piacenza)
Website: www.castellodigrazzanovisconti.it
Admission with a fee

Castello di Grazzano Visconti | Photo by Dario Fusaro from "Grandi Giardini Italiani" Photo Archive

Castello di Grazzano Visconti | Photo by Dario Fusaro from “Grandi Giardini Italiani” Photo Archive

The medieval hamlet of Grazzano Visconti, which was renovated at the beginning of the 20th century by Duke Giuseppe Visconti, is surrounded by an amazing 150.000 hectares-wide park.

The garden, guarded like a treasure, is a place of peace for anyone who walks down its paths, surprising the visitor with its eclectic shapes. Inside, the flowing water of the Rio Grazzano is the perfect melody accompanying the harmonious combination between the symmetry of a typical Italian or French garden and the romance of an English park that characterize this place.

Reggia di Colorno

Where: Piazza Garibaldi, 21 | Colorno (Parma)
Website: http://reggiadicolorno.it
Free admission to the garden. Admission to the Palace with a fee.

Reggia di Colorno (Colorno) | Photo taken by www.histouring.com

Reggia di Colorno (Colorno) | Photo taken by www.histouring.com

A fascinating mix of history and style, this is how the Ducal Palace of Colorno – also known as the ‘Versailles of Parma’ – could be described. The signs of past projects, dynasties and change it underwent over the centuries – some of them even woeful – are all over its walls.

After a big work of renovation towards the 1990s, today it recovered the shapes it should have had during the first half of the 18th century – French-style garden included and the big 18th century Romantic garden at its back included. This place, right hidden in the heart of Emilia Romagna, is absolutely worth a visit.

Labirinto della Masone

Where: Strada Masone, 121 | Fontanellato (Parma)
Website: www.labirintodifrancomariaricci.it
Admission with a fee

200 thousands of bamboo plants of 20 different species are what decorates this amazing star-shaped garden. It is the biggest labyrinth in the whole world, composed of plants from 30cm up to 15m tall.

The creator and designer Franco Maria Ricci spent almost 10 years to make his dream come true, and today it is accessible to the public with a 3-km long trail where visitors can get lost and find themselves thanks to the power of nature and art.

Museo Giardino della Rosa Antica

Where: Via Giardini Nord, 10250 | Montagnana di Serramazzoni (Modena)
Website: www.museoroseantiche.it
Admission with a fee

Among the hills of Modena now stands one of the greatest collections in the world of ancient roses where once pasture lands grew. We are talking of about 800 different species of roses that, thanks to guided tours and sensorial trails, can be admired and appreciated by all.

Giardino di Palazzo di Varignana

Where: Via Ca’ Masino, 611/A | Castel San Pietro Terme (BO)
Website: www.palazzodivarignana.com
Admission with a fee, mandatory booking

It is a 3-hectares wide surface where countryside and nature blend harmoniously together with the beauty of the resort of Palazzo di Varignana. Embraced by the beautiful landscape of the Emilian hills, this extraordinary project of redevelopment designed by landscape architect Antonio Perazzi creates a perfect fusion of botanic, agronomic and architectonic knowledge.

Villa La Babina

Where: CLAI – Via Sasso Morelli, 40 | Imola (Bologna)
Website: www.clai.it
Free admission, mandatory booking

Deep in nature, in the countryside of Imola, Villa La Babina raises as a green oasis. It is one of the typical stately homes of the 19th century that once dotted the entire plain surrounding Bologna. The entire structure blends perfectly in the rural landscape and it is composed of wide lawns from which big monumental trees stand out.

The owner of this villa and of the CLAI worked very hard to recover and make this building accessible to guided tours, displaying even a space for shows and events.

Villa Montericco Pasolini

Where: Via Montericco, 10 | Imola (Bologna)
Website: www.pasolinidallonda.com
Admission with a fee. Mandatory booking

The Pasolini Dall’Ondas have been the owners of this villa immersed in the fields and orchards of the Imolese countryside for centuries. Originally, it consisted only of a defensive tower of the 15th century, but it developed over time becoming a magnificent stately home with gardens, woods inhabited by deers and pheasants and with an agricultural estate dedicated for the production of exquisite wines.

Palazzo Fantini

Where: Via XX Settembre, 81 | Tredozio (Folì/Cesena)
Website: www.palazzofantini.net
Admission with a fee, mandatory booking

Palazzo Fantini | Tredozio

Palazzo Fantini | Tredozio

On the border between Romagna and Tuscany, the stately home in late Roman Baroque-style of Palazzo Fantini guards a very neat garden with characteristics of the 19th century and of the Romantic style.

If you cross its gate, you will immediately enter a big park in an all-Italian style enriched with flowerbeds, topiary, rose gardens and edgings with ancient flowers. Colours and scents add charm and delight to this wonderful location, which is the ideal place for events, exhibition, as well as for a break from the rush of life.

In case you know other historical gardens or parks of our wonderful region, do not hesitate to share them with us in the comments below!


Davide Marino

Davide Marino was born archaeologist but ended up doing other things. Rational – but not methodic, slow – but passionate. A young enthusiast with grey hair

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