Liguria – Green terraces with a sea view

Sanremo, the enchanting City of Flowers, which includes among its beauties Villa Ormond and its beautiful park. Built at the behest of the Swiss merchant Michel Louis Ormond in the second half of the nineteenth century, following the earthquake of 1887, it was rebuilt to a design by the Swiss architect Emile Réverdin. The park, which stretches out towards the sea, has a “room” pattern with very characteristic vegetable environments: palm grove, cedar area, ancient olive grove, sequence of Ficus and grandiose central panorama inspired by the theme of the Italian garden. The Japanese garden is of remarkable beauty, the result of the friendship that unites the city of Sanremo and the city of Atami.

Following the coast, at La Mortola in Ventimiglia, it is the Hanbury Botanical Gardens designed by Thomas Hanbury that fascinate. Currently managed by the University of Genoa, they have been a protected area of the Liguria Region since 2000, and have among their collections those of the genera Eucaliptus and Acacia, as well as bamboo, citrus fruits of ancient varieties, roses, peonies, numerous climbers on the pergolas. The perfume garden, the Italian-style gardens and the exotic orchard are all worth a visit.

In the Gulf of Alassio, pearl of the Riviera Ligure di Ponente, the majestic gardens of Villa della Pergola stand out. The park of Villa della Pergola was built by the Scottish general William Montagu Scott Mc Murdo in 1875 and passed, in the early 1900s, to the cousin of Virginia Woolf, the baronet Sir Walter Hamilton Darlrymple. The park received a great boost from 1922, when the owner became Daniel Hanbury, second son of Thomas, owner of the famous Hanbury Gardens. In 2006, a group of friends led by Silvia and Antonio Ricci bought the property, to save it from major building speculation, starting a tenacious and careful restoration of the park.
Immersed in a lush garden of 22,000 square meters, you can get lost in every season between different colors and scents. In June and July, the blue hues of the more than 400 varieties of agapanthus, the only collection in Europe, conquer the visitor with their splendid flowering.

Leaving Alassio behind and passing Genoa, in Santa Margherita Ligure, the gardens of Villa Durazzo and La Cervara Abbey enter your heart. One dominates the hill in the centre of the Genoese town and enjoys an enchanting view of the Gulf of Tigullio, the other, however, extends to the sea between Santa Margherita and Portofino.

Villa Durazzo was built in 1678 as a summer residence of the Durazzo family, of which it bears the name, and later ceded in 1821 to the princes Centurion. In 1919 it passed to Alfredo Chierichetti who took care of the final arrangement of the park. Since 1973 it has been owned by the municipality of Santa Margherita Ligure. The oldest part of the park is characterized by a small citrus grove, located on the terrace in front of the sea between the wall and the balustrade, whose creation is due to the family Durazzo who planted oranges, lemons, grapefruits in order to create the backdrop of green for those who climbed from the sea to the villa. The layout of the “Italian Garden”, however, is the work of the family Centurion who took over the Durazzo in the nineteenth century.

La Cervara Abbey, founded in 1361 by a small group of Benedictine monks, in its seven centuries of history has been the scene of alternating periods of splendor and decadence, which are reflected in the progressive architectural changes of the complex. Of particular importance is the monumental Italian-style garden, the only one preserved in Liguria, which extends over two levels, gracefully joined by pergolas and steps.


Between "Green" and "Blue"

Green terraces overlooking the sea, gardens that boast rare botanical collections and spectacular views of the sea. Green lungs that extend a few steps from the crystal clear waters of the Ligurian coast.

Photos © of their respective sites:
Villa Ormond –
Giardini Botanici Hanbury –
Villa della Pergola –
Villa Durazzo –
Abbazia La Cervara –


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