The Sigurtà Garden Park (il Parco Giardino Sigurtà) was an unexpected surprise. We didn’t know a thing about it when some friends invited us to spend a day there, but at the end of the day, we were thanking them for such a wonderful idea.
A Bit of History
The Sigurtà Garden Park is located in Valeggio sul Mincio, near Peschiera del Garda, Verona. It’s open from March through November, from 9 am to 7 pm. The park dates back to the beginning of the 15th century when it was farmland. Over the centuries, both its appearance and its function changed, but it wasn’t until 1941, when the Sigurtà family bought the property, that the park began its real transformation. The park was awarded the distinguished honor of the most beautiful Italian park (2013) and most beautiful European park (2015). It’s 60 hectares wide along the Mincio river and gives the guests the chance to enjoy a wide range of different natural elements.
An English Garden
The park is a perfect example of a romantic English garden. The model, developed during the 18th century, contrasts with the Italian garden. Placing artificial buildings, such as caves, ruins and temples, among the natural elements, the English garden aims to surprise and perhaps add an element of trepidation for its guests. According to this model, nature should remain in its natural state, but the creators leave nothing to chance. Bearing this in mind, your visit will be more interesting. To illustrate the difference between these two models, we can think of the gardens of the Royal Palace of Caserta which is one of the most beautiful examples of an Italian garden.
What to Expect
We visited the park in August. While we enjoyed that it wasn’t crowded and really quiet, we missed the most beautiful blooms of spring. We suggest visiting the park in spring, maybe in the middle of March when “Tulip Mania” begins and you can enjoy more than one million flowered tulips.
There are several ways to explore the park. On foot is probably the best way and in this case, you can download the app, available in both Italian and English, which will guide you through the various paths, avenues, and flower beds. Our choice was on bicycles. We loaded them in the car and wandered around the park following the 6 km path. We obviously abandoned the trail numerous times in order to venture out into the more secluded areas and enjoy the numerous koi ponds.
It would be very hard to decide what I liked the most. I’ve listed many different points of interest, but please don’t just read the article, go and visit the park for yourself.
One of the most recognizable spots is the famous Viale delle Rose. It’s about 1 km long and in the spring it gives visitors a show of 30,000 blooming roses!
The Great Lawn is a wide green expanse… very tempting. I walked barefoot, feeling the soft, fresh grass, enjoying the massage. On the lawn, there are also a lot of different shrubs, a small lake with sparkling water, lilies and darting koi carps, and a romantic willow on a little, stone bridge.
The labyrinth maze is amazing. You have to find your way through 2 m tall hedges made up of more than 1,500 yew trees. In the center stands a tower (it’s no medieval tower, but I’ll let you see for yourself) from which you can see the maze below and the visitors wandering around.
There is also interesting architecture throughout the park. Marquis Antonio Maffei commissioned both the Hermitage and the Castelletto. The first one overlooks the garden from a hill. The second one is almost completely covered with ivy and its walls and cozy groves offer rest and silence. Walking through them you’ll discover small pools where koi carps swim quietly.
There’s also a medicinal herb garden guarded by a statue of a lion. Water gardens host a wide range of colorful water lilies, shining under the sky and reflecting the Scala family castle. Don’t miss the chance to take a photo hugging the Great Oak, 400 years old, and 6 m tall. For the little ones and animal lovers, you can visit the farm where you can find a lot of farm animals.
Outside the Park
We suggest leaving the park for lunch and going to the little town of Borghetto. It’s listed as One of the Most Beautiful Villages of Italy. The Mincio river flows through Borghetto and under the Visconti bridge. If you want to take an unforgettable photo, don’t miss this bridge. Borghetto preserves its medieval character, with narrow streets, workshops, and functioning watermills.
Just 2 km away from the park is the lovely Borgo of Valeggio sul Mincio, also one of the Most Beautiful Villages in Italy and its Scaliger Castle which dates back to the 14th century.
We really enjoyed our visit to the Sigurtà Garden Park. It’s a beautiful jewel on the Mincio river that gives guests the chance to see rare flowers, walk on lush green grass, relax under the shadow of ancient trees, and enjoy the Mincio Valley’s landscape.
COVID-19 Opening Updates
- The park officially opened May 11, 2020, and will be open every day from 9 to 19.
- As required by ordinance, physical activity (jogging, walking, cycling) is allowed with one’s nuclear family
- Respect social distancing
- Bring masks and wear them when necessary as required by law
- At this time, the kiosks and bars are closed
- At this time, golf carts and bicycles are not available for rental
- Picnics are NOT allowed
- Since the ordinances are constantly being revised, it is advisable to visit the official website and buy tickets online BEFORE your visit.
For more information visit the park’s official website: Sigurta Park
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