By Sammy Browne, USAC Student
The Villa Lante gardens in Bagnaia is one of the most beautiful and well kept gardens in Italy. A small entry fee of €5 gives you access to the three-tiered wonderland. Starting at the bottom, you’re greater with a maze of plants with a fountain of the “mori” boys surrounded by water with little men in boats at every corner. Facing upward on either sides are small but charming buildings with well preserved paintings from wall to ceiling in each one. Benches inside provide a nice place to relax and take in the beautiful artwork. Walking up the stairs greats you to the surprise of a beautiful view of the surrounding city as well as another waterfall with statues tucked away on each side.
One of the things I especially enjoyed about this particular garden is the way the architect uses fountains and plants in order to seamlessly integrate manmade structures into the surrounding nature. Walking up the second layer reveals a long stone table with water running through the middle directing your attention to the fountain of giants at the end. The final level is not one to disappoint with a long horizontal stone stream running down the middle drawing you upwards to the fountain of the dolphins and at the very end a lush waterfall. Manmade rocks and natural plants line the waterfall keeping up with the man vs. nature theme of the garden.
The Villa Lante gardens are extremely well maintained and not crowded at all. Plaque signs all throughout tell of the rich history, architecture, and each element of the garden. They are extremely interesting for anyone who loves history or ancient architects. I spent around an hour and a half walking throughout the gardens, sitting down to listen to the birds chirp, and of course taking pictures.
Walking out of the Villa Lante gardens brings you to a connecting park. I walked around exploring the surrounding area for a little then decided it was time for an early dinner. I did some research on trip advisor and decided on going to Pizzeria La Villa right outside the walls of the garden. I got the classic margarita pizza and it was delicious. The basil on top really elevated the flavor making it on my list of favorite pizza places. Finally, I stopped off at Fernando’s Cafè-Bar Gelateria Vineria and got their pistachio and stracciatella which was a delicious combo of creamy and nutty ice-cream.
The Villa Lante gardens are one of my favorite places in Tuscia. For the price, and experience it is 100% worth the time and money and makes the perfect half-day trip. If you need help figuring out how to get there contact inTuscia for travel accommodations.0