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
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    4.4/5 (based on Google user reviews)

    User Reviews

    Melinda (16 months ago)
    Beautiful place, since its quite big its worth to go there more times to look every hidden gem and enjoy the relaxing atmosphere from time to time
    wendy platt (2 years ago)
    Great garden to visit. Almost all plants are labelled. An informative booklet is given free with admission, which details the route to take and also what to look out for in each area. There are information plaques dotted around the garden giving general information about the groups of plants eg cacti, succulents, Brugmansias etc. The garden is on a hillside with lots of steps. Great views of the bay too. The entry is at the top of the garden and the little cafe is at the bottom.
    ivan gee (2 years ago)
    Past it's best and too hot in July. Would be lovely earlier in the year
    Govert Duindam (2 years ago)
    Beautiful Biotanic Garden in the Ligurian region. Parking is a bit tricky but definetly worth it, also great views over the sea combined with the unique variety in plants, bushes and trees.
    Svetlana Tulai (2 years ago)
    Fantastic place with a wide collection of exotic and local plants, which has been collected by Hanbury family as first. The ideal place to make the nice stroll through it during the summer morning. If you forgot the bottle of water, in the bookshop is possible to buy drinks to refresh yourself and some nice souvenirs. Highly recommended to visit. Unfortunately, dogs are not allowed and the parking area is not big enough, so it's better to come early morning to get the spot.
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