Picture by Moyan Brenn on Flickr
The beautiful Garden of Ninfa is located in the Lazio region of Italy, about 40 miles south-east of Rome. Set in a ruined medieval town, the garden is an icon for the English and American gardening cognoscenti, and is the only garden to appear on an Italian postage stamp.
Ninfa was founded as a small village along the path of via Pedemontana–Volsca that linked Rome to Lazio. The city got its name from the lake Ninfeo that still exist inside the settlement. The territory of Ninfa acquired importance in medieval times when via Pedemontana–Volsca remained the only road utilized for commercial traffic.
In the 13th century the town became a possession of the Onorato Caetani, nephew of Pope Boniface VIII, to whom it is attribute the construction of the castle and tower.
View from the lake. Photo by Greymouser is under license CC BY SA 3.0
The rivalry between Onorato and his brother Benedetto led to a war that ended with the destruction of Ninfa. The town was never rebuilt and was left to slumber until the twentieth century when Gelasio Caetani, descendant of the Sermoneta branch of the Caetani, transformed the ruins into a botanical garden. He also restored some of the buildings of the medieval town of Ninfa and plant different plant species that he brought home from his travels abroad.
Church of Santa Maria Maggiore. Photo by Mentnafunangann /CC BY SA 3.0
The last owner of the Garden of Ninfa was Lelia Caetani who left the amazing place to Roffredo Caetani Foundation who now runs the site.
Over a thousand varieties of plants and trees can be admired in the Garden of Ninfa. That is because the place has an extremely favorable geographical location with mountains protecting it by the cold weather and marine currents and a humid climate with almost daily light raining.
Anyone who steps into this unique place is fascinated instantly by the unique combination of nature and history. Here, you can admire numerous watercourses, grassy meadows, cypresses, poplars, oaks, American walnuts, ornamental apples, cedar trees, rose bushes, a wide range of exotic plants from various parts of the world, and many other plants. Being positioned on a major flyway of birds migrating from Africa to Europe, the place is almost always populated by a rich fauna. Also, in 1976, under the auspices of the WWF approximately 1.8 hectares (4.4 acres) within the garden were set aside as a wildlife sanctuary.
Photo by Eleonorapulcino is under license CC BY SA 3.0
Rose bushes. Photo by Mentnafunangann is under license CC BY SA 3.0
Because of its valuable habitats, the Garden of Ninfa was declared (alongside the surrounding Pantanello Natural Park) a Natural Monument by the Lazio Region in 2000. Also, due to its unique setting and its location, the garden has justly been described as “the most romantic garden in the world”.
If you wish to visit the Garden of Ninfa, you should know that it has limited opening times (April to October) and can only be seen on a guided tour.
Top incoming search terms:
- House with small garden
- the most romantic garden in the world
- garden of ninfa