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, click on “Hotel” then “History&Garden” for more info).
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 great source of Italian villa and garden information is available on the Grandi Giardini Italiani website.
Photo from Grandi Giardini Italiani