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Italian Villas and Their Gardens

Villa d'Este at Lake Como in Lombardy

Just in time for late spring and summer romps around Italy comes the reissue of Edith Wharton’s 1904 landscaping classic Italian Villas and Their Gardens.

According to curators with the New York Society Library’s Green Art collection, “Wharton visited some fifty villas around Rome, Florence, Siena, Genoa, in Lombardy, and the Veneto. Many were closed to the public.” We do know, however, that several estates that she visited are open to the public, including the Boboli Gardens in Florence (part of the Medici’s Pitti Palace estate) and the Este family villas at Tivoli (near Rome) and Lake Como (in Lombardy).

Edith Wharton's Italian Villas and Their Gardens
Italian Villas and Their Gardens, Edith Wharton’s landscaping classic from 1904

Wharton’s book, with illustrations by Maxfield Parrish, provides a unique look into Italy’s famous gardens from over a century ago. Tourists and garden enthusiasts may want to pick up a copy of this book before embarking on an Italian villa tour.

Another invaluable source of Italian villa and garden information is available on the Grandi Giardini Italiani website.

Photo from Grandi Giardini Italiani

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About Author

Melanie Renzulli has been writing about travel to Italy for more than 20 years.

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    Before you go, a parting thought...

    “Italy and the spring and the first love all together should suffice to make the gloomiest person happy.” — Bertrand Russell