Discovering the most beautiful gardens in Liguria – Part One
Spring is finally about to begin. The days are getting longer and sunnier, so what better time can there be to visit magnificent gardens in bloom? We will take a small tour, from west to east, to discover the most beautiful gardens in all of Liguria. You will be enchanted by the lush greenery, magnificent flowers and unusual and exotic plants. Nature and architecture blend together in a perfect setting: the sea view makes everything even more magical and evocative.
The first four gardens and villas that we will explore today are located in the western Liguria, in the province of Imperia. Our hotel and residence Ai Pozzi Village in Loano is a good starting point to discover the wonders we are about to describe to you.
Hanbury Gardens in Ventimiglia
These beautiful gardens and the homonymous villa are in Ventimiglia, on the promontory of Mortola. Born in 1867 thanks to the rich English traveler Thomas Hanbury, they unfold in 18 hectares of greenery, divided equally into partially spontaneous and exotic vegetation. The exotic plants were at the center of Sir Hanbury’s project, which, helped by his brother, wanted to gather as many as possible in a single garden. In spring it is a real show, with flowers and plants from different parts of the world, in a varied range of colors. From white to carmine red to blue, all the shades of the rainbow are not missing. Among roses, exotic orchards, olive trees, pergolas and greenhouses, this garden is all to be discovered, with eyes and smell.
If you want to learn more, visit the Hanbury Gardens website.
Pallanca exotic garden in Bordighera
About 3200 are the guarded exotic plants, among which we recall the Chilean copy, which with its three centuries of life is the oldest example of the garden and among the most long-lived cacti of the whole world. This beautiful green oasis is located on a rocky slope overlooking the sea, characterized by typical Ligurian terraces with dry-stone walls, where exotic plants live, including a collection of Italian cacti. If today we can admire this paradise we owe it in particular to Ludwig Winter, botanist, landscape architect and agronomist and to Giacomo Pallanca, from whom the gardens are named, who decided to abandon the cultivation of olive trees to devote himself to the most unusual passion of exotic and tropical plants .
To get all the useful information about opening times and visits, here is the site of the Pallanca garden.
Villa Ormond in Sanremo
We have already talked about this beautiful villa and its gardens in the article dedicated to Sanremo. The villa, built by Dr. Ormond and his wife Marie Margherite Renet, a French poet, has a magnificent well-designed English garden; in fact, all areas are well divided and characterized by specific plants. We can walk in the palm grove, in the area of the cedars and the ficus. In the central part there is instead the Italian garden, with many palm trees and other specimens. Then there is a Japanese garden, inspired by the Zen philosophy, which celebrates the twinning between the city of Sanremo and that of Atami, in Japan.
Villa Grock in Imperia
Visiting this villa and gardens represents an experience on the border with reality. Once you pass the entrance gate you will feel like in a fantasy world; to accompany you, a dreamlike and suggestive atmosphere linked to the circus world and to the extraordinary life of the artist Adrien Wettach, the clown Grock, his alter ego, or rather his deepest self, as he himself said. Grock, acclaimed by the powerful and emulated by other artists, he built this villa, originally called Bianca like his daughter, in liberty style with Persian, Baroque and Rococo elements. A masterpiece of architecture that fully reflects the artistic and whimsical soul of the famous clown. The symbolism linked to the circus world is very present: in the temple, in the clown masks, on the ceiling of the music hall painted by Grock himself. In the park we find the Mediterranean vegetation that is the backdrop to the play of lights and colors. The central pond is full of symbols and has exotic and oriental references.
To learn more, visit the Villa Grock website.