The gardens of the Italian Lakes are a favourite destination for garden lovers and groups. The gardens around Lake Como and Lake Maggiore, in the far north of Italy, are admired throughout the world for their beauty and variety in a magnificent natural location. This book sets out to become the standard work on these gardens as there is nothing of this kind on the market at the moment. It will appeal both to the specialist and enthusiast preparing for a visit.
The common factor for all these gardens is their setting in this landscape of exceptional scenery. Lake Como is a deep lake hemmed in like a fjord by towering mountains. Lake Maggiore has more the character of an inland sea, with ferries crossing to the famous island gardens for an afternoon in another world. Both lakes are lined with the towers, villas and grand hotels that speak of a complex history including key events in Italy's struggle to achieve nationhood, inspiration for a string of illustrious writers and composers, and a long line of distinguished visitors.
The gardens include:
Villa Melzi, Bellagio: an early 19th-century romantic park on the lake shore
Villa Carlotta, Cadenabbia: a terraced 17th-century property with woodland
Villa del Balbianello, Lenno: a famously picturesque loggia
Villa D'Este, Cernobbio: a 16th-century cascade garden with royal connections
Villa Cicogna Mozzoni, Bisuschio: an intact 16th-century villa garden
Villa Della Porta Bozzolo, Casalzuigno: a rural baroque garden
Isola Bella, Stresa: a well-known island garden
Isola Madre, Stresa: an island retreat of flowers and birds
Villa San Remigio, Pallanza: an Edwardian garden made by two lovers
Villa Taranto, Pallanza: one of the world's great woodland gardens
MARIANNE MAJERUS is a prestigious and prolific international photographer of gardens and winner of the Garden Media Guild Features Photographer of the Year Award 2013 as well as the GMG Photographer of the Year 2010. A contributor and sole photographer of many gardening books, her new title Highgrove: A Garden Celebrated was a best-seller in 2014. Marianne lives and has a studio in London.
S T E V E N D E S M O N D is a gardener, writer and lecturerwith a special interest in the historic gardens of continentalEurope. He has led more than thirty specialist tours to thegardens of the Italian Lakes. He lectures at the University ofOxford and for NADFAS, advises on the conservation ofhistoric gardens and writes for Country Life.