Hanbury Botanical Gardens – Ventimiglia
One of the most famous botanical gardens in Europe, among the 10 most beautiful in Italy
With its 18 hectares, Villa Hanbury is one of the most famous botanical gardens in Europe and in the Mediterranean. The thousands of species (almost 6000 cataloged) are mainly of tropical and subtropical origin and give life to a paradise of scents and colors that can be visited and enjoyed all year long.
Hanbury botanical gardens have been nominated twice among the 10 most beautiful gardens in Italy and their candidacy as a World Heritage Site has been presented to UNESCO.
The history of the park
The parkland sloping away from the hill to the sea is a classic of the Ligurian coast, but the garden landscape is pure “English”, with irregular and romantic rustic paths, pergolas and patios.
The creation of the gardens dates back in 1867, when the Englishman Sir Thomas Hanbury. rich tea merchant in Shanghai decided to settle in Liguria.
First he bought the palace of the Orengo di Ventimiglia marquises, and then the surrounding land, on which he decided to create a splendid garden with botanical species collected from all over the world. He dreamed of it as the most beautiful and fascinating garden in Europe.
To make his dream come true, Sir Thomas was helped by his brother Daniel, a pharmaceutical-botanical expert who came specially from England, and by several famous botanists, a handful of gardeners who went to live nearby.
The garden soon became famous also because it is flowering all the year-round thanks to the particular climate of Liguria.
– in spring the park becomes a refined paradise of colorful flowers and plants, from the white of the Cherokee rose coming from China to the carmine of the Cinnabar Sage from Mexico to the blue of the Echium.
– in summer the merry flowering of Brugmansia dominates, spreading its intense perfume in the evenings of July and August. In the splendid exotic grove, the protagonist is the ancient specimen of olive trees in the center of the avenue which is 250 years old.
– in autumn visitors can see bloom Hibiscus, passionflower, Elaeagnus, Brugmansia, Haemanthus. Among the fruits: strawberry trees, hawthorn, pomegranates.
– during winter bloom acacias, aloes, roses, Latin American sages. Among the fruits: strawberry trees, hawthorn, pomegranates, citrus fruits and avocados. And then the collections of exotic plants with sparkling winter blooms.
The park’s furnishings are equally elegant and full of poetic references: the fountains of the herons, the dragon, the papyrus, the faun, the siren; the Lion’s basin, the temples (votive, of the 4 seasons, of the mill), the slave cave, and under the entrance portico a mosaic depicting Marco Polo.
In particular, the Moorish Mausoleum is also the tomb of the Hanburys, as the ashes of Sir Thomas Hanbury and his wife Katherine Aldam Pease are buried here.
In the lower part of the park, near the sea, a small semi-flat sector is preserved intact with the original Mediterranean vegetation, shaded by pine trees.
The Hambury family managed the Gardens until the second postwar period. In 1987, the management was definitively entrusted to the University of Genoa.
Entrance with fee
Free admission for employees and students of the University of Genoa and children up to six years
– from March 1st to June 15th and from September 16th to October 15th from 9.30 am > 5.00 pm
– from June 16th to September 15th from 9.30 am > 6.00 pm
– from October 16th to February 28th from 9.30 am > 4.00 pm
– from 1st November to the end of February: closed on Mondays
Closed on December 25th
Open January 1st
Visit also the Facebook page of the gardens >>>
Photo from the official website and WikipediaMore Information >>>