Nature & OutdoorNature & Outdoor

Historical gardens and parks in Emilia-Romagna

by /// April 20, 2022
Estimated reading time: 4 minutes



When we talk about art, we instinctively think about painting, sculpture, architecture, and all those art forms that, in one way or another, are linked to the concept of beauty that has marked our aesthetic and moral canons over the last two centuries.

However, there are other forms of art that with grace and simplicity manage to touch the human soul, conquering our hearts. The HISTORICAL GARDENS AND PARKS, for instance, are among these: true living monuments designed by men, capable of enhancing the aesthetic beauty of the great villas and stately homes that still today dot the Italian peninsula.

Strolling along these avenues, surrounded by wonderful colours and scents, lords and nobles of the past made important decisions and indulged in the most frivolous pleasures of life.

Here is a list of some of the most beautiful HISTORICAL GARDENS AND PARKS in Emilia Romagna, that we put together with the help of Grandi Giardini Italiani, the network that has been collecting the most beautiful gardens in Italy since 1997, and promoting the so-called Horticultural Tourism.

Castello di Grazzano Visconti

Where: Viale del Castello, 2 | Grazzano Visconti (Piacenza)
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 village 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 peaceful place, ready to surprise those who take a stroll down its paths with its eclectic shapes. Inside, the flowing water of the Rio Grazzano is the perfect melody to accompany the 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)
Free admission to the garden. Admission to the Palace with a fee.

Reggia di Colorno (Colorno) | Photo taken by
Reggia di Colorno (Colorno) | Photo taken by

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

After a big work of renovation towards the 1990s it was brought back to its original state,  including the French-style garden and the big 18th century Romantic garden at its back. This place, hidden in the heart of Emilia Romagna, is absolutely worth a visit.

Labirinto della Masone

Where: Strada Masone, 121 | Fontanellato (Parma)
Admission with a fee

This amazing star-shaped garden is adorned with over 200 thousands  bamboo plants of 20 different species. It is the biggest labyrinth in the whole world, made up of plants from 30cm up to 15m tall.

The creator and designer Franco Maria Ricci spent almost 10 years to make his vision come to life, 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)
Admission with a fee

Among the hills of Modena, where once pasture lands once grew, now stands one of the greatest collections in the world of ancient roses. 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)
Admission with a fee, mandatory booking

It is a 3-hectare 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)
Free admission, mandatory booking

Deep in nature, in the countryside of Imola, you can find the beautiful green oasis of Villa La Babina. 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 this building and make it accessible to guided tours, displaying even a space for shows and events.

Villa Montericco Pasolini

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

The Pasolini Dall’Onda 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 an agricultural estate dedicated to the production of exquisite wines.

Palazzo Fantini

Where: Via XX Settembre, 81 | Tredozio (Folì/Cesena)
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 gates, 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, exhibitions, 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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