The secret gardens of the lagoon city.
Anybody who has the chance to view Venice from the air might be surprised to discover just how many patches of green can be seen nestling between the canals and palazzo below.
Between the 1600's and 1800's the city of Venice was dotted with hundreds of little gardens
Today, the gardens of Venice form a maze within a maze. These oases are often hard to find and frequently inaccessible; to be discovered only by those with a passion for horticulture and a true spirit of adventure.
Close to the Palazzo of Cà Rezzonico, which houses the "Museum of 18th Century Venice", a splendid reconstruction of a traditional palace garden, featuring typical, geometric flowerbeds, a pergola and a Venetian well, can be seen.
Another green space which gives the modern-day visitor to Venice an idea of how the city's 18th century gardens might have looked is Cà Tron, now home to Venice's University Institute of Architecture.
Among the 19th century gardens, a number of still relatively unknown public parks offer a very different view of the Serenissima: the Savorgnan Garden near to the Guglie Bridge, the Groggia Garden in Cannaregio and the Royal Gardens next to St Mark's Square are all worth a visit.
A number of Venice's most beautiful gardens are now owned by the city's luxury hotels. One of these is the Rizzo Patarol garden, which is the property of the Grand Hotel dei Dogi, in the Cannaregio district.
Designed as botanic garden at the start of the 18th century, Rizzo Patarol was later modified according to the romantic fashion. In 2002, the garden was carefully restored and further enhanced by the addition of numerous species of rose, clematis and hydrangea.
Another hotel with an historic garden is the Hotel Cipriani, in the Giudecca district. Here plants and flowers alternate with vegetable gardens, orchards, and vineyards, the latter apparently much loved by Casanova.
For those eager to take a peak beyond the gates of some of Venice's most secret gardens, the Wigwam Club organizes regular visits to a host of private gardens which are normally closed to the public
The city's contemporary gardens should not be overlooked. Carlo Scarpa's garden, realized in the 1950's for the Querini Stampalia foundation, merges, through an immense glass wall, into the lobby of the Foundation Palazzo in Campo Santa Maria Formosa.
The Giorgio Cini Foundation's Green Theatre, on the island of San Giorgio, was inspired by classical amphitheatres but also by the theatres of Verzura and has only recently been reopened to the general public.
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