Villa Durazzo-Pallavicini

Genoa, Italy

The Villa Durazzo-Pallavicini is a villa with notable 19th-century park in the English romantic style and a small botanical garden. The park and botanical garden are open daily.

The estate was begun in the late 17th century by Clelia Durazzo Grimaldi, who established the Giardino botanico Clelia Durazzo Grimaldi at that time. Today's remarkable park was created by her nephew Ignazio Alessandro Pallavicini after he inherited the property.

The park was designed by Michele Canzio, set designer for the Teatro Carlo Felice, and built between 1840 and 1846. It covers some 97,000 m² of hillside behind the villa. Although recognizably in the English romantic style, the garden is highly theatric, to the point of being organized as a series of scenes forming a play with prologue and three acts (Return to Nature, Memory, Purification). Structures and statues through the garden form focal points to this libretto.

When the park opened in September 1846, on the occasion of the VIII Congresso degli Scienziati Italiani, it quickly gained national fame. In 1928 its current owner, Matilde Gustinani, donated both park and botanical garden to Genoa for use as a public park. Through the remainder of the 20th century, the garden fell into some disrepair, and indeed was threatened in 1972 by construction of a nearby highway. Its restoration began in 1991, however, in honor of Columbus' discovery of America. As of 2006 about half of the park is open for visitors.

In 2017 the park was elected the most beautiful garden in Italy.

The park contains two ponds, a dozen notable structures, various statues, and an extensive grotto. The grotto represents a Dantesque Inferno, with walkways and subterranean lake through which the visitor may ascend to Paradise. In former years, visitors could explore the grotto by boat. Structures include a Coffee House in the shape of triumphal arch, Rustic House, Madonna's Chapel, Mausoleum of the Captain, Temple of Diana, Flower House, Turkish Temple, Obelisk, and Chinese Pagoda.

The park also contains a number of plantings of botanical interest, lots of extotic palms and a wonderful stand of some 160 Camellia japonica.



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Founded: 1840
Category: Palaces, manors and town halls in Italy

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4.6/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Yiran (10 months ago)
Gorgeous garden - easily accessible from Genoa via frequent trains, well maintained, clear path to follow and in perfect condition. Make sure to wear proper walking shoes. Wonderful idea to have garden and buildings weaved into a theatrical story. We visited on a weekday afternoon and literally saw only 4 other visitors so pretty much had the whole path to ourselves. The garden itself deserves 5 stars but I had to remove 1 star as for half the path, the noice from the nearby highway was an unavoidable distraction and ruined the otherwise beautiful experience. It’s such a shame whoever built the highway and some of the surrounding buildings didn’t consider the garden; the garden felt like one that should be shared with the public and preserved from noise and other pollution given how special it was.
Jessica Kong (2 years ago)
It's amazing! I was impressed by the different themes in the garden, especially the grotto, the Temple of Diana and the Chinese Pagoda. The uphill road might be a little hard for the young and the old, but the view and the spots on top of the hill are well worth the effort. The highlight is the boat tour on the lake. We had a very friendly student gondolier who gave us history of the garden. We met a few of these tourism major students at different spots and they were all very helpful and hospitable! It was such a pleasure to visit this place without crowds and I got maybe 100 stunning pictures.
massimo malvestio (2 years ago)
Extraordinary park with a really beautiful historical mansion. 3.5 km of pathways, a triumph arc in palladian style, 2 lakes, the biggest with romantic artificial caves, a bridge with a small Chinese pagoda. The Captain's house is a must see, because of the structure itself and the panoramic view. Strongly suggested good shoes. At least 3 hours needed to visit and appreciate everything. Fair ticket
Jakov S (2 years ago)
Be prepared for hiking. Highway is nearby and it's very noisy spoiling experiance. You feel like you are in the forest meanwhile you can hear city noise. Most of the stops are boring with exception of cave and lake at the end.
Oksana Sabti (3 years ago)
CarTec it’s deferent life
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