A journey to discover the most beautiful Italian gardens that, in addition to boasting botanical heritage of historical and natural interest, offer natural terraces from which you can enjoy a breathtaking view of the sea.
In Campania the Gardens of the Mortella and the Hydrothermal Park of Negombo are the two pearls of the island of Ischia. La Mortella Gardens, born for love and passion of Lady Walton, are located in Forio d’Ischia, the largest of the six municipalities of the island, in a village that still maintains its tradition made of historical shops and small restaurants where you can appreciate the Neapolitan specialties. A visit to this wonderful botanical treasure chest takes at least two hours. The most spectacular point is near the pyramidal rock of Sir Walton, which houses its ashes, from which you can enjoy a breathtaking view of the waters that lap the island and have a view of the entire garden. If romanticism and melancholy are the emotions that dominate these gardens, a completely different spirit surrounds the Hydrothermal Park of Negombo. The marinothermal park, born as a garden of delights for the Fulceri Camerini family, owes much of its current appearance to the intervention of landscape architect Ermanno Casasco. The garden, the flagship of Lacco Ameno, the smallest of the island’s municipalities, integrates the native flora with botanical collections from Australia, Japan, South Africa, from Brazil and is embellished by imposing sculptures such as “Arc-en-ciel” by Arnaldo Pomodoro, “Strale per il Negombo” by Lucio del Pezzo, “Gli occhi di Nesti e di Neri” by Laura Panno, “Il Volo” by Giuseppe Maraniello and the recent installation “Sprigionamenti” by Gianfranco Pardi.
More to the south, on the island of Capri, Villa San Michele conquers with its charm. The Villa went up to the honours after the publication and success in 1929 of the book “The Story of St. Michael”. Since then, the House of the Court Doctor and writer Axel Munthe has opened its gates to the public so as not to close them again. What will remain in your heart are the beautiful views that open from the terraces on the Gulf of Naples, in addition to the bright colors of the garden that stand out among the green vegetation formed by cypress trees, tuia, ivy, boxwood and moss. There are vases, amphorae and works of art everywhere.
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Gardens of Mortella: musical activities
During the year there are three concert seasons: in Spring and Autumn chamber music recitals, which take place every Saturday and Sunday in the Recital Hall; in Summer the Festival for Youth Orchestras, with concerts of Symphonic Music, which take place on Thursday evening in the Greek Theatre. These concerts always involve young musicians (maximum age 32), to follow up the will expressed by William Walton, that La Mortella could help young talents to fly.
- The chamber music season is held in collaboration with the Accademia di Santa Cecilia (Rome), San Pietro a Maiella (Naples), the Fiesole School of Music and the Conservatory of Avellino; in addition, the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama (Wales) collaborates on this programme. These schools select their best students and send them to Ischia to perform a concert The basic idea behind this program (now ten years) is that young musicians find, in comparison with a competent and attentive audience, a moment of stimulus and inspiration. At the same time their name begins to turn and become known. In addition to the students selected by the schools, the William Walton and La Mortella Foundation invites to perform the winner of the William Walton Scholarship of the School of Fiesole and, depending on the period, winners of other prestigious music competitions.
- The Festival for Youth Orchestras. This event offers many Italian and foreign youth orchestras the opportunity to perform in a place of great charm and charm, which are the Gardens La Mortella where the great musician William Walton lived. The Gardens are thus a source of inspiration and intense artistic emotions for the musicians, which the event also offers the opportunity to get in touch with the Mediterranean world, the environment and history of the island, the immense archaeological and cultural heritage of Campania. Finally, the Festival also plays a role in promoting the island of Ischia and its tourist offer, attracting a cultured public, qualified, highly specialized, for the benefit of a conscious and sustainable tourism development. The season of symphonic music at the Greek Theatre, as well as chamber music, is held in collaboration with national and international music schools and institutions.