Secret Gardens of Venice

Usually, when we think of Venice, we picture its famous canals. But hidden in this city are over 500 lush secret gardens. They are found in unexpected places, like behind noble palaces and in ancient convents. Even among Venice’s winding streets, you can stumble upon these green sanctuaries.

Each garden has its own story to tell, giving a break from the busy sights of Venice. Places like the Thetis Garden and the Borges Labyrinth show nature’s strength here. Despite Venice’s tough geography and long history, plants have found a way to flourish.

Key Takeaways

  • Venice is home to over 500 secret gardens, many hidden behind historic buildings and facades.
  • These gardens offer a tranquil respite from the bustling city, providing a glimpse into Venice’s rich horticultural heritage.
  • Venetian gardens, such as the Thetis Garden and Borges Labyrinth, showcase the resilience of nature in the city’s unique environment.
  • Gardens in Venice often feature protective walls to create a specialized environment for the plants, as the salty ground is not naturally conducive to vegetation.
  • Resilient plants, like wisteria, ivy, palm trees, and boxwood, have adapted to Venice’s challenging conditions and thrive in the city’s secret gardens.

The Elusiveness of Hidden Gardens in the City on Water

Many visitors to Venice are unaware of the hidden gardens within the city. These oases are hidden behind walls. The walls protect the gardens from both flooding and a lack of natural plant support. They create a special place for plants by keeping out salt from Venice’s ground and allowing gardeners to add good soil.

Therefore, the walls are crucial. They enable gardeners to make a flourishing green space in these hidden places.

Resilient Plants Thriving in Venice’s Unique Environment

Venice’s unique setting and weather would seem tough for plants. Still, plants like wisteria, ivy, palm trees, and boxwood have found a way to grow. They do so in the city’s hidden gardens.

Venetian Gardens and Their Protective Walls

The walls around Venetian gardens keep them safe from flooding. They also help create a special place for plants. Because of these walls, the soil in the gardens is not salty like the rest of Venice. This allows gardeners to use special soil, leading to a wide variety of vegetation.

Exploring the Surprising Abundance of Verdant Oases

Even though Venice isn’t famous for its gardens, it’s full of hidden oases. These green spaces are scattered all over, offering quiet places in the busy city. They show us how nature can thrive in a city unlike any other.

Hidden Gardens of Venice: Monasteries and Convents

Some of the most beautiful hidden gardens in Venice are in the old monasteries. These secret spaces are peaceful escapes from the city, showing off Venetian gardening tradition.

The Mystical Garden of the Discalced Carmelites

The Mystical Garden of the Discalced Carmelites is a special place that helps protect the area’s plants and animals. It has seven parts, including one where they grow special herbs for making Carmelite Water, an old healing drink from Venice.

Vineyards and Herbal Orchards of Franciscan Friars

The Franciscan friars at the San Francesco della Vigna convent look after ancient gardens and vineyards. In these Venice gardens, you can find peace. These Hidden Gardens of Venice show you the beauty of Italian gardens and Venetian horticulture.

Renaissance Gardens: Aristocratic Opulence Unveiled

Next to monastery and convent gardens, Venice is home to hidden palace gardens from the Renaissance. These gardens were symbols of rich people’s wealth. They show us Venice’s long love for plants and how nature always wins in the end.

The Grimani ai Servi Palace Garden

In the Grimani ai Servi Palace Garden, there’s a pretty fountain in the center. It’s surrounded by a maze of boxwood with a rose garden inside. This place belonged to the Grimani family long ago. It shows the Renaissance’s blend of old and new and how they loved nature.

The Morosini dal Giardin Palace Garden

At the Morosini dal Giardin Palace Garden, Dominican nuns take care of it. It has flowers, vegetables, and fruit trees. This garden is a quiet place, showing how Venetians used small spaces to grow food and still enjoy nature within their city.

The Malipiero Palace Garden on the Grand Canal

One of the best Renaissance gardens in Venice is at the Malipiero Palace, with a view of the Grand Canal. It’s filled with statues and roses. This special place is a perfect example of how wealthy Venetians celebrated nature and art during the Hidden Gardens of Venice era.

Renaissance gardens of Venice

Artistic Interpretations: Gardens as Canvases

The gardens hidden in Venice have inspired many artists over the years. They have turned these lush green spaces into works of art. One shining example is the Borges Labyrinth on San Giorgio Maggiore. It pays homage to the famous writer from Argentina, Jorge Luis Borges. The labyrinth covers over 2,300 square meters and has more than 3,000 boxwood plants. It combines Borges’ literary brilliance with Venice’s natural beauty, making it a truly exceptional place.

The Borges Labyrinth: A Literary Masterpiece

The Borges Labyrinth, found in the peaceful gardens of San Giorgio Maggiore, is an artistic wonder. It takes inspiration from Borges’ complex stories and deep thoughts. This labyrinth is more than just a maze; it’s an opportunity to dive into a world where stories come alive. The carefully shaped boxwood hedges represent the layers of Borges’ writings, creating a beautiful and thought-provoking design.

Carlo Scarpa’s Sculptural Gardens at the Biennale

Carlo Scarpa, a famous architect, found inspiration in the Hidden Gardens of Venice as well. His work at the Biennale showcases a unique mix of stone, water, and greenery. Scarpa’s gardens are more than just pretty spaces; they are places that make us think. They show how art and nature can come together in a way that challenges our ideas of beauty and reality. This is another example of how Venice’s hidden gardens are spaces for deep creativity.

Exploring Venice’s Public Gardens and Parks

Though most of Venice’s gardens are hidden, the city does have some public green spaces. These areas are a welcome sight for those who seek a break or admire nature. The Royal Gardens opened again in 2019 after being restored. This 19th-century Italian garden attracts visitors with its botanical wonders and historic charm.

The Revitalized Royal Gardens

Located by the Grand Canal, the Royal Gardens have been restored to their former beauty. People can now enjoy quiet walks among lush plants and trees. The gardens provide a peaceful escape from the busy Venice gardens.

The Thetis Garden and Biennale Grounds

In the Castello district, the Thetis Garden stands as a modern botanical garden in Venice. It combines beautiful art and greenery, offering a refreshing space. The nearby Biennale art exhibition grounds also have stunning gardens. These places show Venice’s commitment to its historic gardens of Italy.

Hidden Gardens of Venice: Exclusivity and Accessibility

Exploring the hidden gardens of Venice is fascinating. I notice how they’re both hard to find and easy to enjoy. These lush spots, filled with rich Venetian horticulture and history, are usually off-limits. They’re either privately owned or open to only a few. But, there are steps being taken to open up these botanical gardens in Venice.

The Venetian Gardeners Association and the Poveglia per tutti project are hard at work. They aim to safeguard and open up the gardens of Venice for everyone to enjoy. These efforts allow visitors to understand the bond Venice has with nature. It also highlights the city’s historical and ongoing landscaping and gardening around the challenging lagoon.

Walking through the hidden gardens, I’m amazed by the plants’ stamina in such a unique city. From the beautiful Italian gardens surrounding old noble houses to the peaceful green spaces in the Thetis Garden, Venice gardens are a peaceful escape from the busy canals. They show the city’s love for all things leafy and the hard work put in to keep these gardens lovely.


What makes the gardens of Venice so unique?

Venice has a surprise – over 500 hidden gardens. You’ll find them behind noble palaces and ancient convents. These green havens are peaceful breaks from the city’s busy vibes.

Why are the gardens of Venice often hidden and protected by walls?

These walls keep out floodwater and salt. They help make a perfect place for plants by blocking the salt. Gardeners can then add good soil for plants to grow well.

What types of plants thrive in the hidden gardens of Venice?

Venice’s gardens are home to plants like wisteria, ivy, and palm trees. These plants have found a way to grow and look beautiful despite Venice’s tough conditions.

Where can some of the most enchanting hidden gardens of Venice be found?

Look for lovely hidden gardens in Venice’s monasteries and convents. Visit places like the Mystical Garden of the Discalced Carmelites. Or see the Franciscan friars’ historic gardens at San Francesco della Vigna.

What are some examples of Renaissance-era palace gardens in Venice?

Venice hides some Renaissance palace gardens too. Places like Grimani ai Servi Palace Garden show past opulence. Others like Malipiero Palace Garden overlook the Grand Canal.

How have the hidden gardens of Venice inspired artistic endeavors?

Venice’s gardens have sparked art projects. The Borges Labyrinth and Carlo Scarpa’s Biennale gardens are perfect examples. They show how these green spaces inspire creativity.

What are some of the public gardens and parks in Venice that offer greenery for residents and visitors?

Venice has a few parks and gardens for everyone. The Royal Gardens and the Thetis Garden are two examples. They offer green spaces amid the city’s stone and water.

How accessible are the hidden gardens of Venice to the general public?

Sadly, Venice’s hidden gardens are often off-limits. They may be private or for special guests only. Yet, there are plans to open more of them to the public. This is thanks to groups that love green spaces and projects like Poveglia per tutti.

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