Peony Garden near Viterbo

April 22, 2008 / Local Interest
If you happen to be anywhere near the lovely Viterbo area (about 50 miles north of Rome) during the months of April and May, you will definitely want to visit this secret gem. Thousands upon thousands of Chinese peonies are all flowering at once at the Centro Botanico Moutan (Moutan Botanical Center).

Located near Bagnaia and the Renaissance gardens of Villa Lante (a note coming soon), this privately owned garden spread over 15 hectares (almost 40 acres!) boasts the world’s largest collection (many rare) of these incredibly colorful and fragrant flowers.

Swing by and take one of their free guided tours among the blossoms, even if it is only offered in Italian. Don’t speak it? Take it anyways! You will come away with lots of specialized Italian Paeonia vocabulary . . for fun, why not? They also have a garden shop, as well as one with all sorts of peony related designer items, paintings, special gardening gear, and even cosmetic products made from the peonies. This being Italy, there is also a café of course. All in all not a bad way to spend a breathtaking hour off the beaten path.

More info available at

Mary Jane Cryan

by Mary Jane Cryan

Mary Jane is a historian, cruise lecturer, author and publisher of books on Italian history and central Italy has been residing in Italy for half a century.

See her award winning website and weekly blog posts on 50YearsInItaly for more about central Italy and to order books directly from the author.

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