Walking on green paths
The island is a dance of perfumes and colors of the Mediterranean scrub. The mild climate is an ideal condition to obtain different ecosystems. Indeed, the development of a very varied flora and fauna creates an unique biodiversity in different parts of Sicily. The spontaneity of nature is visible not only into a reserve or bio parks, but also in the public villas and gardens. Moreover, we find these kinds of location in the city center, so it is very easy to reach them. Here, some places to visit for a relaxing walk through a ‘natural museum’.
Palermo – Orto Botanico and Villa Giulia
The Botanical garden of Palermo is the largest in Europe. At the end of the eighteen century, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe was one of the first man to tell about the beauty of garden into its travel books. The garden is located near the Kala, where the sea meets the ancient part of Palermo. Not far from the central station, 10 minute on foot, this place is like an open air museum. There, you’ll see the centuries-old giant Ficus tree. Probably, the most ancient Ficus tree in the entire European territory. Then, numerous tropical species of plants are collected into a unique section inside old and big greenhouses. In the middle of botanical park, there is also an unique plant collection in an uncommon space. It seems to be an fountain, but is not. The Aquarium is a particular and large tank for the aquatic plants. Every single part of garden is complex, so we recommend to take a long time visit. The Botanical garden opens at 9:00 A.M. every day, but the visiting time varies according to the season.
It would be impossible to describe all gardens, but we can tell you which are the most beautiful ones. For example, Villa Malfitano, Villa Tasca and Villa Trabia are located between the new and old town centre. Visit these beautiful gardens and villas of the city staying in Palermo apartments or in Mondello apartments.
When your visit is finished, you could also come into the next Villa Giulia. It was built in 1777 and nominated the first public garden in Italy. This beautiful and wide villa has a geometrical plane according to symmetrical and regular ways. Then, crossing the central boulevard, you’ll see the elegant exedra and the Genius statue, the symbol and lay patron of Palermo. Then, Art Nouveau art(liberty style in Italy) decorates ancient kiosks and fountains. Villa Giulia is open every day from 08:00 am to 08:00 pm.
Bagheria – Villa San Cataldo
A long boulevard and a fascinating villa represent an ideal ‘italian garden’. Indeed, it’s like being dropped inside a fairy tale. The neo-gotic style of the building reflects the magnificent glory of the Galletti’s family. Then, a mysterious air lingers in the garden through centuries-old pine trees and statues. Villa San Cataldo in open from Tuesday to Sunday from 09:00 to 17:30. If you want to spend 2 o 3 days in Bagheria, do not miss the opportunity to visit the rest of the villas.
Botanical garden of Catania
It was built by Benedettini monks during the eighteenth century. During the past, the monks cultivated the plants in order to preserve the species. Indeed, today, you’ll find more than 160 plant species, including tropical ones. It covers an area of 16,000 square meters and is split into two areas: the hortus generalis (13,000 square meters) and the hortus siculus (3,000 square meters). Maybe, you are asking what is the hortus siculus… It is an incredible collection of rare and endemic Sicilian plants. They represent the pure expression of the island and its geological history. Then, you’ll find another species called ‘succulent plants’ which are cultivated in the open air. They look like incredible sculptures for their bizarre and particular shapes! Do not miss the visit of Botanical Garden which is located in the middle of Catania city. The opening time: from Monday to Friday from 9:30 to 18:30 / Saturday: 9:30 – 12:30. To know the entire area around the Etna and natural park, you could explore the countryside and stay in our villas with swimming pool in Sicily.
Near Catania, on the slopes of Etna, there is a quiet village called Regalna. Driving for more or less 30 minutes, you’ll reach the precious the New Gussonea Botanical Garden. This place is located inside of the Etna Natural Park. The garden hosts only two specific collections and several plant aggregations from the Etna area, including Etna chamomile, and the endemic Anthemis aetnensis. The visiting time is almost 2 hours, but not forget to take more time to explore all stunning points. For this kind of visit, we recommend to wear trekking shoes. Remember that the garden can be accessed on a driveway leading to Valerio Giacomini Refuge. The New Gussonea Botanical Garden is open from Monday to Friday – 09:00/01:00 pm.
This article was written by Giulia Sofi
Today, she creates editorial content for cultural magazine and exhibition project.
Her articles have been published in some art magazine like CityRivista and Insideart.