Extraordinary openings of parks and gardens across Italy next weekend

The fourth edition of "Appointment in the Garden," an event that will open dozens of gardens, historic parks and botanical gardens throughout Italy, will be held on Saturday, June 5 and Sunday, June 6.

Next weekend, Saturday, June 5 and Sunday, June 6, it will be possible to visit more than 150 gardens, historic parks and botanical gardens throughout Italy, some of them open on an exceptional basis, as part of the Appuntamento in Giardino initiative, promoted by APGI-Associazione Parchi e Giardini d’Italia with the support of Ales and the patronage of the Ministry of Culture. The event, which reaches its fourth edition this year, is designed as a kind of “garden festival” and invites the general public to discover the amazing historical, artistic, botanical and landscape wealth of Italian gardens: from large historic sites to small private gardens. To top it all off, a series of meetings, events, readings and special activities as a cultural offering aimed at the whole family. The event will also provide an opportunity to inform the general public about the activities needed to care for, restore and protect gardens, in view of a major national enhancement plan, the one included in the projects for culture of the National Recovery and Resilience Plan (NRP).

The event counts on the participation of almost all the regions of Italy, and will be held simultaneously in several European countries in collaboration with the Rendez-vous aux jardins initiative, reflecting the increasing attention paid, including internationally, to green heritage. In 40 percent of cases, these are extraordinary openings: thus, the event will be an opportunity to admire gardens that are normally not open to the public or open only on special occasions, such as at Buggiano Castello, where the Citrus Gardens and the Secret Gardens of the Borgo will be exceptionally open to visitors. Also participating in the initiative will be some important UNESCO sites, such as Villa Adriana and Villa D’Este, the Royal Palaces of Caserta and Venaria Reale or the Boboli Gardens.

Also extensive is the participation of private historic residences, which will open their prestigious gardens, such as Ville Torrigiani in Lucca, Tiepolo Passi in Veneto or Rocca Meli Lupi in Soragna. In many cases, it will be the owners of the residences themselves or the gardeners who will welcome visitors, to tell the story of the garden and the daily commitment necessary to ensure its survival: this will be the case, for example, in the 19th-century park of the Roero Castle in Monticello d’Alba; in the Ducal Castle of Agliè, on the other hand, it will be the gardener of the museum complex who will introduce visitors to the monumental trees. There are also numerous Botanical Gardens, such as those in Rome, Naples, Bologna, Turin and some Alpine botanical gardens. In addition, the opening of gardens will be an opportunity to raise visitors’ awareness of environmental and sustainability issues, such as at the Villa Trecci Sustainable Park, where visitors will be welcomed by the owners.

Many special activities are proposed for this event: traditional guided tours will be joined by workshops, yoga classes, botanical painting courses, tastings, and musical moments, such as at the Medici Villa in Cerreto Guidi, where the Academy of Strings of San Miniato Basso will enliven the visit with magical notes under the centuries-old wisteria. There will also be numerous sensory trails. Again, Appointment in the Garden will also be an opportunity to present to the public important restorations, such as that of the plant heritage of the Horti Farnesiani or the Margherita Fountain in the Royal Palace of Caserta. The productive dimension (and with it the themes of biodiversity and sustainability) is the protagonist this year in some gardens in the South, such as in the Pomona Botanical Conservatory in Salento, where collections of arboreal fruit trees will be on display, or in Favara Maredolce in Palermo, where the techniques and biodiversity of ancient Sicilian citrus farming will be discussed.

Appointment in the Garden has also been joined by Interno Verde Parma, the event that allows visitors to explore the most evocative and curious private gardens in Parma’s historic center, through which it is possible to read the history, changes and experiences of the city, Italian Capital of Culture 2020-21. A new feature of the 2021 edition is also the photo initiative launched on Instagram, entitled: Return to Spring. The initiative aims to build a story in images of the two days. The protagonists will be the beauty of nature reopening to life and the gardens returning to be a place of culture and sociality. To participate, it is necessary to use the hashtag #returntospring by tagging the gardens that have joined the initiative.

“Culture is driving the country’s restart,” said Culture Minister Dario Franceschini, emphasizing how “the Recovery plan introduces fundamental resources to enhance Italy’s cultural heritage and its excellences such as historic parks and gardens.”

“A choice that recognizes the status and historical and artistic dignity of Italian gardens, as well as their extraordinary environmental and landscape value,” says Ambassador Ludovico Ortona, APGI President.

“Ales, as a founding member of APGI,” stresses Mario De Simoni, President and CEO of Ales Spa, “strongly supports its action, underlining the full belonging of parks and gardens to our cultural heritage.”

In the photo: the gardens of the Royal Palace of Venaria Reale

Extraordinary openings of parks and gardens across Italy next weekend
Extraordinary openings of parks and gardens across Italy next weekend

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