In Valeggio sul Mincio, on the morainal hills south of Lake Garda, there is the Sigurtà Garden Park, a green area full of charm that won the award for Italy's most beautiful park in 2013 and the second most beautiful park of Europe in 2015.
The Park has ancient origins: its history dates back to 1407, when under Venetian rule, the patrician Gerolamo Nicolò Contarini bought the entire property, which at the time had a purely agricultural function, and built a villa. After several changes of ownership, in the early 19th century the estate was turned into a romantic English garden, featuring a forest with a temple, called Hermitage a small neo-Gothic style Castle, and the Grotto. Its period of splendour reached its peak in 1859, when the Emperor Franz Joseph I of Austria and later Napoleon III Emperor of France came to the Park.
There followed decades of neglect and deterioration, until 1941, when the Sigurtà family bought the property and brought it back to its former glory, restoring the monuments, valuing the ancient trees, taking care of the flower garden and increasing the surface area of the Park from 22 to 60 hectares.
Today the Sigurtà Garden Park Park is home to plants such as the Great Oak, settings designed right down to the smallest detail like the 18 ponds full of flowers, the Garden of medicinal herbs and the Great lawn, the Avenue of the Roses, the Horizontal Sundial and theMaze. One of the most sought-after shows are the flowing tulips in April, the largest one in southern Europe. The Petting Zoo with animals and an educational and recreational area is perfect for kids and families.
The Sigurtà Garden Park is open from March to November and is an ideal destination for a walk on foot or by bike (can be rented). You can also visit it with one of the many golf cart available to visitors or with the scenic trains. For those seeking a tailor-made, detailed tour, the Park offers an electric shuttle that will allow you to discover all the secrets of the garden accompanied for an hour by one of professional guides. Inside the park there are four kiosks and many picnic areas.
For practical information on opening hours and tickets, please visit the website or call.
Sigurtà Garden Park
Via Cavour 1 - 37067 Valeggio sul Mincio (VR)
Tel. 045.6371033 - www.sigurta.it