The Gardens of Villa Borromeo Visconti Litta


The Magic of Water



After being forgotten for many years, the gardens of Villa Borromeo Visconti Litta have recently undergone a period of restoration and now appear again as they did in the 16th - 19th centuries.

The nymphaeum, which was constructed in 1585, is situated on the main north-south axis. An enchanted world of water, sculptures and mosaics is created by the artificial grottoes with their frescoes, mosaics and 53 varying types of water features, including fountains, large and small water jets, and waterfalls. The exedra to the north forms a spectacular final point to the line of sight. Orangeries to the east and west of the exedra complete the picture on the north side of the garden.

 

 

An Italian Renaissance garden with a Galatea fountain at its centre stretches out between the nymphaeum and the exedra.

In 1808, architect Luigi Canonica collaborated with botanist Linneo Tagliabue to design an English landscape park in the northwest part of the grounds, the giant old trees of which still dominate the area today.

To the northwest of the villa lies the sunken "Garden of the Hesperides", the centre of which is dominated by a Neptune fountain. A double-rowed arbour of hornbeam surrounds the "Garden of the Hesperides". The greenhouses - cast-steel structures in "art nouveau" style - are located on a slightly-raised level and were originally heated by steam. They are still awaiting restoration.