Villa Taranto

November 6, 2009 / Places
Verbania, Piemonte
villataranto1Although Villa Taranto is impressive in April, when 40,000 tulips are in bloom, it is at the end of the season that the gardens really burst. The dahlias have grown tall, so tall that on the curving, narrow path that winds through the dahlia maze of 350 different varieties they tower over heads, and one must look up at the sky to see the tallest of them. In the terraced gardens, the bronze statue called The Fisher by Neapolitan artist Vincenzo Gemito looks out over brightly colored beds and carpets of grass.villataranto2

It was in 1931 that a Scotsman, Captain Neil McEacharn, purchased the property with the dream of transforming it into an English garden to remind him of his homeland. He named the place Villa Taranto, a nod to an ancestor of his upon whom Napoleon had conferred the Dukedom of Taranto. To ensure that the work would continue after him, the Captain gifted his home and gardens to the Italian state; since 1952 the public has had access to the gardens that have ended up, after his years of designing work, to be a representation of an English garden, but with a softer, brighter Italian garden feel to them as well.

Dana Kaplan

by Dana Kaplan

Freelance writer, proofreader, and copyeditor. Author of StresaSights, a great blog about a beautiful town.

6 Responses to “Villa Taranto”

  1. WOW – the images in today note are breath-taking. This is a place like something one dreams about – to see it one day would be incredible! Thanks so much for this peek at another piece of heaven on earth! Abbracci….

  2. Elizabeth Mainiero

    We were there years ago and found it delightful. Another attraction in the North in Merano is the South Tyrol Museum of Tourism located in Trauttmansdorff Castle. This is a plus place to visit! The gardens are extremely beautiful. One gets the dual pleasure of visitng the Castle where they feature what famous people have stayed where with wonderful exhibits relating to the history of travel and hours spent wandering the gardens that wind down the hill from the castle.

  3. Stanley Crabb

    Absolutely beautiful. Although we lived near Torino (Rivoli) for several years in two different periods, we never heard of this. Thank you so much for this contribution. It is reminscent of the Swedish? gardens on the island on Bodensee (Lake Constance).

  4. Theresa Sheneman

    Absolutely breathtaking – wish I had seen it on my trips to Italy.
    Thanks for sharing!

  5. Thanks to all for the comments!
    Denyse… I hope you get to see it one day.
    Elizabeth… Now I need to add the Tyrol Museum to my list of must-see places!
    Stanley… Yes, it’s a pity Taranto isn’t better known; it deserves to be.
    Sylvia… It is beautiful; and these photos were taken in late October!


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