Spring Glamour: Italian Lakes, Villas & Gardens
“The island gardens which dot the Italian lakes are among the most beautiful and beguiling in the world. But it takes a gardener to explain their fascination” Monty Don.
We visited the Lakes of Maggiore and Como in the company of Mike Nelhams RHS judge and Curator of the superb Abbey Gardens on Tresco in the Isles of Scilly.
In warm sunshine our private boat whisked us across the calm waters of Lake Maggiore to the stunning villas and gardens on the islands of – Isola Bella and Isola Madre lunching en route on Isola Pescatore on local fresh pasta and ice cream. As we crossed between Maggiore and Como we were the guests of Count Jacopo Cicogna Mozzoni. He took us round his fascinating villa and gardens before a lunch at his restaurant in the village. On the shores of Lake Como we launched across to visit Villa Carlotta where we were staggered by the quantity and lush blossom before the scents of the wisteria at Villa Balbianello charmed the afternoon. Dining in Bellagio was a highlight before a private visit to the steep alpine gardens at Villa Bagatti & Valsecchi offered sensational views up to the alps at the head of the lake. Our final gardens at Villas Serbelloni and Melzi provided contrasts of the lake-side setting; and throughout the sun shone!
15th – 20th April 2015