Just imagine the perfect Spring day. The sky is the most vibrant blue you’ve ever seen and there isn’t a single cloud in the sky. The sun is shining, and you can feel it’s warmth on your skin. You welcome that light fresh breeze that makes the temperature just the right blend of warm and cool. On days like this, all you want to do is bask in this gorgeous day.
Days like these, especially when you are traveling, are so wonderful. You’ll often find suggestions of what to do if the weather isn’t great during your trip, but what about those times when the weather is so magnificent that you just want to be outdoors taking it all in?
Well, on occasions such as these, you have the perfect opportunity to do as the Italians do, and take advantage of the great day and switch things up a bit.
In most of the cities you visit, there are parks and gardens which, if you ask me, are the perfect way to enjoy a beautifully warm day – and you could easily plan it into your day – whether it’s a picnic lunch in the park or a relaxing stroll when things tend to be closed for the afternoon siesta.
There is no better way to enjoy the outdoors than surrounded by nature and other locals who have also decided to make the most of a wonderful day!
Here are some parks and gardens in Southern Italy that are worth stopping into. They can be a great way to break up your trip and give you some time to re-energize for all the other activities you have in your travel itinerary.
Parco della Biodiversità Mediterranea (Catanzaro)
A peaceful hideaway spanning 150 acres in the capital city of the region of Calabria, Catanzaro. What makes this park so impressive is the fact that it’s located in the middle of the city. Passing through the tall iron gates of the park’s main entrance, located on Via Scuola Agaria, the biggest challenge will be deciding where to start. Follow the path and enjoy a walk through the grounds which include a plethora of plants and flowers, lakes, ponds, and even an animal sanctuary. If you have children, they’ll surely enjoy running around the themed playgrounds that you can find throughout the park. There are relaxing squares with intricate benches that allow you to take in the surroundings and do some people watching. This park is made even more special thanks to the contemporary art installations that you’ll pass by as you make you way around the grounds. These works of art from international artists seem to weave effortlessly into the fabric of this unique park. Admission: Free
Villa Rufolo (Ravello)
Planning a trip to the Amalfi Coast? Then you don’t want to miss a visit to Ravello. This town is a true gem on the Amalfi Coast with its jaw-dropping views overlooking the coast and the Bay of Salerno. Ravello is a small town with charming ceramic shops and lots of romantic villas and gardens begging to be explored. One of these beautiful gardens is the Villa Rufolo located in the heart of Ravello. Just steps away from the main piazza, Piazza Duomo, you’ll find a grand Gothic-style tower. This beautiful tower is the entrance to the villa. Dating back to the 13th century, the villa has many Arab and Sicilian influences. Even though the property was bought and renovated in the 19th century, you can still see many of its medieval architectural elements. As you make your way through the pathways around the grounds, you’ll eventually make your way to the beautiful viewpoint where you can enjoy a breathtaking view of the coast.
Admission: €7.00 *prices may change*
La Cutura (Giuggianello, Lecce)
Walk through the main entrance and you are instantly surrounded by plants and trees. A small path opens up into the courtyard of the old country estate. The estate is now a renowned botanical garden with 35 hectares of wonder. The grounds are made up of a series of greenhouses and themed paths that immerse you in the rich variety of flowers and plants that can be found here. This place is truly magical, with its perfect blend of scents, colors, and sounds. From roses to aromatic and medicinal plants, to the well-maintained geometric labyrinth-like hedges. You’ll also find a small pond with papyrus and water lilies and a large greenhouse with over 2000 specimens of succulent plants from various countries. If that wasn’t enough, this magical estate also has a special secret garden. A set of steps carved into the rock leads you to an old quarry that is now home to rare plants and trees. This is a beautiful way to spend a morning or afternoon – you’ll feel like you’ve been transported into the pages of a fairytale.
Villa Comunale (Taormina)
Located on the eastern shores of Sicily, Taormina is a popular destination for many visitors to Sicily – with its medieval streets, Greek ruins, and spectacular views. If you plan to spend some time in Taormina on your next trip to Sicily, then you definitely want to take some time for a passagiata though the Villa Comunale. The lush gardens were once privately-owned by a Scottish noblewoman named Lady Florence Trevelyan, who also designed the unique elements that can be found on the grounds. The villa became the property of the city in 1922 and today this enchanting oasis is open to the public. The beautiful landscaping includes many intricate pavilions surrounded by exotic flowers, fountains, and water elements. Along the outer perimeter of the grounds, you can enjoy a beautiful view overlooking the sea. This public garden is so whimsical, you will not regret dedicating some time to take in this unique and enchanting spot.
If you’d like more information on these gardens in Southern Italy or how you can include them in your next trip, feel free to contact us.