Giardini Botanici Hanbury

Ventimiglia, Italy

The Giardini Botanici Hanbury, also known as Villa Hanbury, are major botanical gardens operated by the University of Genoa. 

The gardens were established by Sir Thomas Hanbury on a small, steep peninsula jutting southwards from an altitude of 103 meters down into the Mediterranean Sea. He purchased the extant Palazzo Orengo property in 1867, and over decades created the garden with the aid of pharmacologist Daniel Hanbury (his brother), the botanist and landscape designer Ludwig Winter, and scientists including Gustav Cronemayer, Kurt Dinter, and Alwin Berger. In 1912 the Hortus Mortolensis, the catalogue of the garden, contained 5800 species, although the garden itself had more. Hanbury died in 1907, but energetic plantings and improvements resumed after World War I under the direction of his daughter-in-law Lady Dorothy Hanbury.

The gardens were severely damaged in World War II, when they became a no-man's land and in 1960 Lady Hanbury sold them to the State of Italy. Initially its care was entrusted to the International Institute of Ligurian Studies but when they withdrew for lack of adequate funds in 1983 responsibility was passed to the University of Genoa. Restoration has been gradually proceeding since 1987 and it was declared a nature preserve in 2000.

In 2006 the Ministero dei Beni e delle Attività Culturali submitted a proposal for the inclusion of the gardens on the list of UNESCO World Heritage sites.

In 2007 and 2011 Villa Hanbury was included in the list of the 10 most beautiful gardens in Italy.



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Founded: 1867
Category: Miscellaneous historic sites in Italy


4.4/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Tochi “D Aces” (15 months ago)
Amazing garden with different species of plants. Incredible experience visiting this place. Worth the price.
Cyrus G (17 months ago)
Very nice Cliffside garden. We follow the red arrows taking us all the way down the hill to the ocean side café. Then we took the pathways with the blue arrows all the way back up to the top. Along the way do you see some pretty Things.
Kate Hartshorne (18 months ago)
Gorgeous botanical gardens stretching all the way down the hillside to the ocean. Well thought out, perfect for a couple of hours. Lovely cafe at the bottom to have a cappuccino or a Prosecco. $9 euros per person or $25 for a family. Highly worth it.
Marlies de Beij (18 months ago)
Definitely worth the entrance fee! The bar at the bottom of the garden is very pricy, though: three panini, two soft drinks and two cappucinos for €29 is not an Italian bill, but rather one for Monaco, just across the border... For that amount of money, the ladies serving at the bar could have been a lot friendlier! The lady at the entrance was very friendly and helpful, though. See and enjoy the garden, but bring your own lunch! I don't mind paying a bit more, but then I expect a little more, too.
Dave Arnot (18 months ago)
Beautiful, well kept gardens. Well worth the time.
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