Italian Gardens that you can visit by train

Eight and a half million visitors a year, is the record reached by the Grandi Giardini Italiani, altogether 137 gardens in 14 regions, plus the Vatican City, Switzerland and Malta. Small, extensive, historical, monumental, or of a great botanical value, some Unesco heritage, other are used as venues for concerts and events.

Here are our list of gardens that are no more than 2 kilometers from a railway station and can be reached with high-speed and regional trains. A convenient and green way to discover these treasures, without traffic and parking problems.
 

If you are staying in Milan

Isola Bella

  • 1 km + ferry from Stresa station - 56 minutes from Milano Central Station
On Lake Maggiore, one of the most famous Italian Baroque gardens with obelisks, statues of the seventeenth century. Isola Bella is one of the pearls of the Borromean Islands (isoleborromee.it) and can be reached by ferry from Stresa. At the entrance, a 200-year-old camphor tree. Highlights: the Throne Room and the picture gallery of Palazzo Borromeo, the camellia flowering in March, azaleas and rhododendrons in April and May, roses in June. 


Parco Pallavicino

  • 1.8 km from Stresa station - 56 minutes from Milano Cental Station
An 18-hectare park with lawns, flower beds, summer gardens, and centuries-old trees, chestnuts, red beeches, Ginkgo Biloba, oaks, maples, cedars of Lebanon. There is a garden where you can take children for free animals, deer, goats, llamas. In the Farm area there are also zebras, kangaroos, pink flamingos, in all 50 different species of animals. If Spring is the triumph of flowers, Autumn is magic, thanks to the foliage of monumental trees.

Travel's tip: Stop for lunch at the Locanda Pozzetto in Laveno, a small inn with an excellent Slow Food restaurant.
 

Villa Necchi Campiglio

  • 2.2 km from the Milan railway station
Villa, garden, interiors: a visit to the taste of the 30s, a visit to this aristocratic residence in the heart of Milan. With timeless Italian masterpieces, from Tiepolo to Canaletto and De Chirico. Come in May to see the full blossom of camellias and hydrangeas. There si alos a permanent exhibition of 21 works on paper of some at  great masters, from Picasso to Matisse.

Travel's tip: Di Casa in Casa (casemuseo.it) is a circuit through four house museums, Villa Necchi, Museo Poldi Pezzoli, Bagatti Valsecchi and Casa Boschi di Stefano.
Event: 2019 celebrates the life of the Renaissance genius who spent 17 years of his life in Milan, various exhibitions at the Royal Palace and Science Museum and other locations are happening throught the year. (yesmilano.it)
Stay: Extremely friendly and accommodating, Hotel Spadari Al Duomo provide peace and comfort in the middle of the Milan's hustle and bustle.  A 3-night stay starts from £ 430 per person including breakfast and private airport transfers.

Gardens of Isola Bella, Lake Maggiore
 


If you are staying in and around Verona

Giardino Giusti

  • 1.5 km from Verona P. Vescovo station
Ten minutes from the Arena of Verona, this garden still preserves the imprint and the path of 1570, the fountains, the mythological statues, the most ancient maze in Italy. It's famous for the avenue of cypresses that goes up to the cave and the best viewpoint over the city.

Travel's tip: Eat or have an aperitif at the Antica Bottega dei Vini in Verona, an historical place, serving drinks since the 16th century.
Event: 29/06 to 07/09 Opera Season at the Verona Arena - The 4th of August will see Placido Domingo celebrating his 50th career anniversary with Nabucco, I Due Foscari and MacBeth.
Stay: La Finestra sul Fiume is an idyllic B&B by the bank of the River Mincio a short stroll to Borghetto.  It's just a 30 minute taxi ride from Verona but a 10-minute stroll to the beautiful Parco La Sigurta' with over 300 varieties of tulips and floating flower beds on the lake to admire and photograph in a weekend in Borghetto di Valeggio sul Mincio, one of the most beautiful villages in Italy, where ancient mills have been converted into restaurants and B&Bs. A 5-night break starts from £ 720 per person including breakfast and private airport transfer.

Parco la Sigurta'
 

If you are staying in Padua

Botanical Garden of Padua

  • 2 km from the station of Padua
Unesco heritage, the oldest university botanical garden in the world, 3500 plant species, 7000 specimens, is one of the reasons to discover Padua, together with the Scrovegni chapel frescoed by Giotto. Don't miss the Biodiversity Garden and the guided tours for individuals available only on weekends. (5 euro per person)
 
Travel's tip: Not only the Botanical Garden, by train you can also reach Abano, to visit Casa Museo Bassi Rahgeb (museovillabassiabano.it) with a heritage of 429 paintings and drawings. Frescoes from the Veronese school.
 
Event: 08/05 to 12/05 Salone dei Sapori (salonesapori.it) - Food Festival among the shops of the oldest "shopping center" in Europe under the arches of the Palazzo della Ragione, in front of the Erbe market. 
Stay: Right in the historic centre of Padua, the Hotel Belludi 37 offers Cathedral View from its rooms, great links and you can rent bikes. A 3-night break starts from £ 375 per person sharing a deluxe room including breakfast and private airport transfers from Venice airport


If you are staying in Florence

Giardino Bardini

  • 1.9 km from Florence station
Four hectares of forest, garden, vegetable garden, orchard in the heart of Florence. And the most spectacular view of the city and the Arno. A green oasis divided between an Italian garden with a baroque staircase, an English forest and an agricultural park.

Travel's tip: with a single ticket, in addition to the Bardini Garden you can also visit the Boboli Gardens, the Costume Gallery, the Porcelain Museum and the Silver Museum.
Event: During the first two weeks of July, the walled town of Moteriggioni, 40 minutes from Florence, renacts its medieval traditions with concerts, games, shows and food stalls. monteriggionimedievale.com
Stay: at Palazzo di Camugliano, an aristocratic palazzo with frescoes and an extra helping of history.  A 3-night break starts from £ 685 per person sharing a deluxe room including breakfast and a 3-hour walking tour of Florence.


If you are staying in Rome

Garden of Palazzo Colonna

  • 1.7 km from Rome Termini station
On the Quirinale hill, this hanging garden rich in magnolias, holm oaks, cypresses, small boxwood hedges and large Italian hedges crowns one of Italy's treasures, Palazzo Colonna (galleriacolonna.it), a family that has played a major influence in the history of Rome and the Vatican. Visit the magnificence of Palazzo Colonna and be astonished by works by Pinturicchio, Carracci, Guido Reni, Tintoretto, Guercino, Veronese, Vanvitelli.


Vatican Gardens 

  • 1.9 km from Rome San Pietro Station
The gardens occupy two thirds of the world's smallest state, the Vatican, and are by far the oldest botanical garden (250 years before Padua and Pisa), designed in 1279 for medicinal plants that were used for apothecaries and which interested Pope Niccolò III Orsini. Meadows, woods, caves, masterpieces of topiary art, including statues and archaeological pieces.

Travel's tip: the ticket for the visit to the Vatican Gardens is also valid for the Vatican Museums and the Sistine Chapel.

Vatican Gardens

 

The Pope Summer Residence of Castel Gandolfo 

  • 1.3 km from the station of Castel Gandolfo - 40-minute from Rome Termini
From the town of Castel Gandolfo to Albano, this set of gardens, residences, archaeological memories and vegetable gardens reserved for the Pope winds for 55 hectares. An itinerary of art, history, scents of roses, refreshment of old trees. 

Travel's tip: Every Saturday you can leave from the old Vatican City station and reach Castel Gandolfo with an electric train. A full day experience that also includes Vatican Museums and the Barberini Garden.
 

Villa d’Este

  • 1.2 km from Tivoli station - 55 minutes from Rome Termini
Renaissance and Baroque, these gardens are UNESCO Heritage. And the numbers explain why: 35 thousand square meters of greenery, 9000 of boulevards, 50 fountains, 255 waterfalls, 100 basins, 250 jets, 15 thousand plants, 150 centuries old tall trees. The fountains created in the "500" by Pirro Ligorio are without mechanical devices and powered only by natural pressure.

Travel's tip: Continue your visit to the Roman site of Villa Adriana, also UNESCO

Villa d'Este, Tivoli
 

If you are staying in Naples

Royal Palace of Caserta

  • 400 meters from Caserta Station - 35 minute from Naples
The Royal Park and Royal Palace are the masterpiece of Luigi and Carlo Vanvitelli, created in the 18th century. for King Charles of Bourbon. The first part of this park of 122 hectares, is a set of parterres separated by a central avenue connected to other avenues, a green world of limes, hornbeams and holm oaks. The second part is a scenic waterway with monumental fountains and statues.

Travel's tip: Hire a bike to explore the Park and bring a picnic basket
 

Mortella Gardens

  • Lacco Ameno, Ischia, 4km from the port of Casamicciola - 1 hour on the hydrofoil from Naples
These gardens are 4km from the port of Casamicciola, but it was not possible not include them in our list. The Mortella Gardens are a green oasis created by Lady Susana, wife of William Walton, one of the most important English musicians of the '900. With the help of the landscape architect Russell Page, Mrs. Walton transformed the rugged patch of land on the Zaro promontory and created an enchantment of rare exotic plants and Mediterranean scrub, fountains and waterways, rocks, dry stone walls and sea views. The huge herbaceous ferns, the large palm trees and the tall Liriodendron tulipifera are striking, but the highlight of the garden is the Victoria House, the greenhouse that houses the Victoria amazonica, water lily with round leaves over two meters wide and large flowers up to 40 centimeters.

Travel's tip: Visit the nearby Negombo Thermal Park for a relaxing afternoon between hot baths, mud treatments and a dip in the sea
Event: In honor of the owner, the musician Walton, La Mortella hosts three concert seasons that follow from March to October. (lamortella.org)
Stay: Sumptuous old-school glamour on Naples'seafront, Grand Hotel Vesuvio has been welcoming royalty, politicians and celebrities since 1882. A 3-night break starts at £ 490 per person sharing a Queen double with sea view and including private airport transfers.

Caserta Royal Palace
 

If you are staying in Palermo

Botanical Garden of Palermo

  • 700 meters from Palermo Central Station
Eighteenth century, near the Kalsa district, it is one of the most important Italian academic institutions with 12 thousand different plant species, a herbarium of 6000 square meters, 1300 square meters of greenhouses. Thanks to the Mediterranean climate, the botanic garden flourishes throughout the year. Fascinating, the gigantic Gingko Biloba, the tropical orchard and the library with 26 thousand books.

Trave's tip: Make sure you visit Palermo's market for some of Europe's tastiest street food. 
Stay: Set amidst the atmospheric but slightly rundown setting of the Ballarò market, the Hotel Palazzo Brunaccini is in an excellent location for exploring the city’s food markets and churches. 3 nights from £ 345 per person sharing a superior double room including breakfast and private airport transfers

La Mortella Gardens, Ischia