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Exploring Northern Italy’s Villa Gardens

From elaborate landscapes outside Genoa to formal estates along Lake Como and the French border, take a tour through the villa gardens of northern Italy.

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Inspired by: Exploring Northern Italy’s Villa Gardens — by Mary Tonetti Dorra, Published Apr. 2009

Hotels (3)

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    Locanda Miranda

    Seven intimate rooms with water views.

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    Locanda di Palazzo Cicala

    An haute-design hotel in the city center.

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    Villa d'Este

    Regal 16th-century lakefront estate is the most prestigious of the lake's hotels, with a jet-set atmosphere. Along with 152 opulent rooms, the prop

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Restaurants (2)

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    Antica Osteria di Vico Palla

    Hidden off a blind alley, the Antica Osteria di Vico Palla looks like it hasn’t changed in a century, though its current incarnation dates back onl

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    Osteria della Chiocciola

    Stop for lunch to enjoy the zuppa di verdure and the house-made ravioli at this community spot, named for escargot, the local specialty.

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Activities (7)

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    Villa Carlotta

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    Bellagio Water Taxis

    The company offers boating services on Lake Como.

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    Villa Durazzo Pallavicini

    The park has beautiful trees and shrubs, in particular the camellias, which date back to the garden’s inception in 1840.

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    Isola Bella

    Perhaps the finest example of 17th-century Italian Baroque garden art. When seen from the town of Stresa, the island looks like a giant ship: the B

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    Villa del Balbianello

    Balbianello is owned and maintained by the Fondo Ambiente Italiano—the Italian National Trust. In addition to the gardens, a magnificent 18th-centu

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    Villa Melzi

    In May the garden is aglow with azaleas and rhododendrons. A Moorish pavilion placed right at the water’s edge, a well-manicured allée of pollarded

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    Hanbury Botanical Gardens

    The 49-acre gardens just three miles west of Ventimiglia on the French- Italian border was built by Thomas Hanbury, a wealthy Englishman who made h

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