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Italian gardens where to get lost: green mazes to visit

posted by Home In Italy on June 24th, 2016

Amusement place and symbol of power for the aristocratic families of the from the past, the labyrinth has always amused and enchanted with its treacherous paths. The charm that evokes the maze has strengthened its symbolic power, becoming a metaphor for the condition of modern man, always labored in the search of something. A symbol that has never lost its charm.
Here is the latest version of the contemporary garden: cultural bamboo maze from the publisher Franco Maria Ricci near Parma, Fontanellato. Although it is the largest in Europe, Fontanellato it is not the only labyrinth of the Peninsula. Here, some of the most famous Italian mazes.

Borges labyrinth of San Giorgio Island, Venice
Opened on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of the death of the Argentine writer Jorge Luis Borges, it is a reconstruction of the labyrinth garden that architect Randoll Coate designed in his honor. It ‘inspired by “The Garden of Forking Paths,” one of the best known stories of Borges, and consists in 3250 box trees that reproduce the poet’s name as if it were written on the pages of a huge open book. Inside the maze is also inserted a handrail in order to help blind people to find their way out; the condition that the poet met in the ’50s.

Villa Giusti, Verona
One of the oldest labyrinths of Europe: in the forest hedges, small but difficult in the track, was already included in the original sixteenth century building. Romantic, from the bell-tower runs a spiral staircase that leads to the panoramic terrace. Would Romeo and Juliet have liked the terrace?

The bamboo maze of Franco Maria Ricci in Fontanellato
300 square meters and 8 hectares of maze with three kilometers of trail. It is the maze’s largest bamboo in the world, the one built by the publisher Franco Maria Ricci in Fontanellato, in the province of Parma. “The idea I got it from my friends inspired writers Borges and Italo Calvino. The labyrinth is a symbol, it is a state of beauty,” he said to HuffPost. At the center of the labyrinth there is a pyramid, which contains a chapel, three restaurants, library, meeting areas, a ballroom and exhibition spaces. It arises around a museum, an archive and a library.

Villa Lante, Bagnaia
One of the most beautiful parks in the sixteenth century mannerist, voted “Italy’s Most Beautiful Park” in 2011. The maze of Villa Lante, in Lazio, is not particularly complicated, but hidden inside the majestic Fountain of Giambologna Mori.

Castle San Pelagio, Padua
This Venetian Castle mazes two houses: the Minotaur (1,200 square meters, with more than 1000 plants Leylandi nearly 3 meters high) and the mirrors (the most simple, no dead ends). The first is hidden a true minotaur (stone). The second one is dedicated to D’Annunzio: the hall of mirrors symbolizing the concept of “double identity”.

Night at the castle. Fairytale stays from the north to the south of Italy

posted by Home In Italy on May 30th, 2016

Return to the past, our childhood dreams, populated by fairy tale castles with queens and knights. A dream and a privilege coming true in one of the Italian castles, turned into private residences.
Here are some of the most beautiful castle where is possible to spend fabulous nights!

Umbria, Castelvecchio
This luxurious castle is situated near Perugia. Full of antique furniture, tapestries and precious silks, the castle, dating back to 1400, is now a private residence where you can stay for a week and enjoy the beautiful pool set in a commanding position at 600 meters high. Wellness room, chef service and everything you need to relax breathing pure air in a fairytale setting.
For more info click here!

Umbria, Castello Ducale
Carbonesca is a small village not far from Perugia, and 30 minutes from Gubbio. And here the Castello Ducale stands.
Nestled in a pristine landscape, dotted with forests, meadows and water, the castle was built in the Middle Ages to defend Gubbio against Perugia.
Then the Duke Federico da Montefeltro, around the fifteenth century made it his favorite hunting lodge. It is said that the Duke took pleasure in organizing hunting parties that invariably ended in tasty banquets with truffles, a precious ingredient in this land.
Today the castle is back to its former glory and offers weekly stays for up to 30 people. The castle, just for its romantic aspect, also is chosen by couples who intend to get married here, celebrating their wedding in this amazing location.
For more info click here!

Veneto, Castello Bevilacqua
A castle of the fourteenth century, near Verona, ideal starting point for visiting the city and nearby Mantova, Verona, Vicenza, Padova, Rovigo and Lake Garda. Conceived as a fortress to defend against the Carraresi and the Este. It lost its defensive purposes during the Republic of Venice and turned into a noble residence. It was attacked and restored several times, occupied by the Germans during the war and later became a Salesian College. It was eventually sold to a private and today it belongs the Iseppi-Cerato family.

Veneto, Castello di Lispida
This former monastery is situated in a quiet and secluded location among the hills, an ideal and fascinating destination for a getaway. Within the 90 hectares of the property, there is a spa lake with hot springs which produce therapeutic mud.

Marche, Castello Montegiove
Located near Fano, it is a fine country house built in the late ’800 in the Gothic Revival style. Around the structure a large park, once a hunting reserve, and other buildings such as the caretaker’s house, stables, warehouses, greenhouses.

Sicilia, Castello di San Marco
This princely residence of late seventeenth century is adorned with Sicilian baroque details and offers warm and friendly accommodation for those who want to relive the atmosphere of the past. It is a luxury hotel immersed in the countryside and attentive to energy saving.

Tips for flowers lovers: places to visit in Italy before summer

posted by Home In Italy on May 20th, 2016

Spring time opens the doors of ancient castles and historic villas, organizes fairs of flowers and plants all around the country. Too cold to go to the beach, too hot to stay indoors losing the first rays of sun announcing the summer. This is the period of daytrips and, why not it is tempting to shop in the markets and buy plants and flowers.

NURSERY FOR ROSES
Inviting is the name of this exhibition market held in Brescia: “Show the Blooming”, an event in which there will be 350 varieties of collectible roses in bloom from April 24 until June 5.
Where: Bresia, Ciliverghe, Via Portesi 23
When: From April 24 to June 5

QUISTINI CASTLE & FLOWER MARKET
The Quistini castle is an historic residence dating back to the sixteenth century. Every Sunday in May and June the botanic garden is open to the public: guided tours “between roses, history and legend” are organized daily at 11:00 an and 4:00 pm. Moreover, on the 21st and 22nd of May, there is the “Flower Market”, a floral event dedicated to all the lovers of flowers, plants, gardening and creativity linked to nature.
Where: Brescia, Castello Quistini, Via Sopramura 3A
When: From May 1 to June 26

GARDEN MUSEUM OF THE ANCIENT ROSE
It is impossible not to love the old roses; an opportunity to grasp the essence of the more delicate gentle scent that nature can offer us. In Modena, more precisely in Montagnana di Serramazzoni, three hectares of greenery are dedicated to the old rose: the rose garden is home to over 800 varieties of roses, ordered following the systematic botany in the membership section and separated by paths of grass.
Where: Modena Serramazzoni Montagnana, via Nord 10250
When: Until June 30

Great news from Pompeii: five domus have been restored

posted by Home In Italy on April 20th, 2016

Double opening for the archeological site and the museum. From the Octavio Quartius gardens to the huge complex of Julia Felix and the extraordinary viridarium of the House of the goddess of the sea. While Pompeii preserves the appearance of a unique, large restoration site, its cultural offer is increasing: 5 new domus and the Amphitheatre are now open to the public, together with the art exhibition “Myth and nature” in the Archeological Museum in Naples.

The five houses amaze the visitors with their beauty. Here the gardens of Casa Octavius Quartius, where there are the fresco of the double suicide of love of Pyramus and Thisbe and Narciso, mirrored in the waters .
Next to it, the viridarium of the House of Venus in the shell: on the back wall the painting of the goddess of the sea, back to its ancient splendor, and the reproduction of a stature of Mars.
The grandiose complex of Julia Felix is also reopening, a hotel with spa facilities and the porch with square marble columns.

A surprise is offered by the House of Orchard, well known for its garden frescoes and the atrium decorated with mosaic in black and white and a beautiful marble table column. Also eagerly awaited is the reopening of Marcus Lucretius House that charmed Pablo Picasso and Leonide Massine, immortalized in that same garden by photographer Jean Cocteau in 1917.