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Famous throughout the world for nature, art and history, the Giardino Giusti of Verona has been celebrated over the centuries by the most illustrious figures of European culture and history. Mozart made it a stop on his journey in Italy, Goethe, fascinated by the garden, stopped for a few hours to think and imagine under the great cypress that today reminds him of it, the German illustrator Johann Christoph Volkamer represented it on clearly engraved tables. They visited among others Cosimo De 'Medici, King Carlo Felice of Savoy, Emperor Joseph II, Tsar Alexander I, the English writer Joseph Addison and the musician Gabriel Faurи.
The Giusti Garden maintains today the original charm that still enchants almost thirty thousand visitors every year, admired by the sublime spectacle of immobile art and nature in a timeless harmony of eternal beauty and enchantment.
A little over an hour will visit this delightful private garden that opens up in the heart of the city; you will walk along the paths, among the flower beds, the fountains, the mythological and fairy-tale statues in a perfect setting of surprises and harmonies. The path will proceed according to a predetermined route along the terraces of the garden so as to be able to progressively discover the city, culminating in the belvedere terrace from which you can enjoy one of the most beautiful views of Verona.
The history of the garden began in the fifteenth century when the patrician family of the Righteous moved to Verona from Tuscany occupying the palace, one of the largest in the city, which still bears its name. It is only in the second half of the sixteenth century, however, that Count Agostino Giusti (1546-1615), Knight of the Venetian Republic and Gentleman of the Grand Duke of Tuscany, entrusted the arrangement of the garden behind the building to an architect, who remained unknown. The garden, until then cultivated with officinal herbs, vegetables and fruits, was to become the scenographic background of the family villa according to the Boboli philosophy in Florence.
The choice of design for the Giusti garden is inextricably linked to the morphology of the area available. The land that extends along the back of the building is, in fact, naturally divided into two parts. It consists of a large quadrangular expanse of flat land, bounded on the north by a massive cliff that climbs vertically for several meters and that is preceded by a short stretch in accentuated slope, as well as in a further portion of land that rises beyond the cliff itself, slightly undulating, shallow and extending to the east well beyond the boundaries of the lower portion.
The structure of the garden, considered one of the most significant examples of Renaissance park, faithfully represents the artistic climate of humanism in the course of which it is formed, fully realizing the canons of the art of the gardens of the time, and the dictates of taste "to the Italian "now well established and widespread. The flat portion is in fact geometrically divided into regular squares with perpendicular roads and crossed at the center by a long avenue of cypresses, while, at the sides, the flower beds and hedges with statues and fountains and the different moments of the garden are inserted, respecting the general scan, in this regular spatial metric each occupying an entire lot-box.
The place, then, would have lent itself more than ever, by virtue of the remembered natural conformation, to the scanning of the garden in regular shelves placed at different levels that would have been truly spectacular given the considerable height that separates the two sections of the garden. This arrangement would have satisfied the typically Renaissance taste for the use of spectacular staircases placed to connect degrading architectural terraces, without making necessary the usual, demanding and very expensive land modification interventions.
In the Giusti garden it was preferred instead to opt for a different solution, certainly less showy and scenographic, perhaps faithful to the different Venetian tradition of intervention on nature, marked by a greater respect for the spontaneous arrangement of the territories. In fact, the original cliff has been maintained, enhancing the evident contrast with the artificial perfection of the ornate underlying flowerbeds, and the connection between the lower and upper gardens was achieved through the construction, behind the cliff, of a bell tower inside of which a wide spiral staircase winds.
The history of the garden subsequently knows the Baroque contaminations and above all the romantic deviations, some of which have remained long over time, the original Renaissance aesthetic elements are polluted by the influences of the French garden whose model will impose itself as the development of the original conception to the 'Italian. But the Giusti Garden is today presented in the structure originally given to it by Agostino Giusti and the current version is certainly the most faithful to its origins, representing the result of a careful work of guided restoration, starting from the Sixties, by Count Nicolò Giusti del Giardino ( the realization of the garden of the same name provided the Giusti family with the reason to bear the name "of the Garden".
The intervention, next to the necessary architectural changes, has placed particular care on the list of plants, aiming to eliminate the pollution of the choices of past eras and to restore in the garden the form and spirit of the original inspiration.
View from the terraces
Giardino Giusti Verona: Various information
You enter the garden from the door of the building overlooking the street and, past the sixteenth-century atrium, the garden extends beyond a gracefully embattled wall in whose niches houses the statues of Athena and Apollo guarding the entrance.
The central axis is the well-known and majestic avenue of cypresses which, for a perspective game, appears longer than it actually is. Going up an easy staircase, the avenue culminates in the entrance to the Genius loci cave, carved into the cliff and dominated by a gigantic and grotesque stone mask crowned by the balustrades of the belvedere terrace. In the original project the mask was supposed to erupt fire and flames, instead inside the cave, a clever play of mirrors had to amaze and surprise the visitor.
The side paths wind through the flower beds of the Italian garden framed by box hedges and series of myrtles to accommodate the many statues and fountains that adorn the garden. Among the latter there are numerous mythological subjects, all by Lorenzo Muttoni who replaced the 16th century originals in the 18th century.
At each step some botanical preciousness: the pale old roses, the hedges of the ancient ruscus plant, the red fruits of the taxus baccata, the large vases of the golden ivy of Bogliasco.
Today the visit is partially limited by the reconstruction of the labyrinth in boxwood hedges. The labyrinth, small in size and difficult to trace, is among the oldest in Europe. Already existing in the original plant it was redesigned in 1786 by the architect Luigi Trezza.
In the upper garden, reachable through the only access formed by the stone turret, on the rocky and steep hill, plants and bushes grow wildly and irregularly, nature manifests itself in the freedom of its forms, offering itself as a romantic background to the belvedere
View from the upper garden.
At the center the well-known and majestic
avenue of cypresses
View from inside the bell tower
Belvedere from the upper garden.
In the background Verona
How to get there. By car: Verona is easily reached along the Serenissima motorway (A4 Milan / Venice, exit for the historic center and for the Giusti Garden: Verona Sud) or the Brenner / Modena motorway (A22, exit: Verona Nord). By train: the main railway station is Verona Porta Nuova, at the intersection of the Milan / Venice line with the Rome / Brenner line.
By plane: Catullo airport in Verona Villafranca is located about 10 kilometers from the city center. A shuttle bus service to and from the airport is available approximately every 20 minutes; the Air terminal is located in front of the Porta Nuova railway station.
Where and when. The Giusti garden is located in that part of the city of Verona historically called Veronetta, a district of early medieval origin that extends to the north-east of the city center and east of the Adige river. It is accessed from the ancient Ponte Pietra and can be accessed freely by car, bearing in mind that, as in many areas of the city, parking is allowed for one hour only with a parking disc. The car can be parked for free in the nearby Gasometro car park (Lungadige Galtarossa).
By choosing public transport, you can reach the garden with bus no. 72- "Pollicino", stop: Carducci.
The entrance is in Via Giardino Giusti n. 2, tel. 045 8034029. The garden is open every day from 9.00 am to sunset in the winter season (1 / 04-30 / 09) and from 9.00 am to 8.00 pm in the summer season.
The sixteenth-century Palazzo Giusti, in the background of which the homonymous garden was developed, is still inhabited and is not open to visitors; some rooms are sometimes made available for events, conferences and literary prizes.
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