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The Gardens at Valsanzibio

I recently visited this little-known but very special garden not far from where we're living and it's now one of my favourite gardens in Italy. It sits amongst the Euganean Hills, just southwest of Padua, in a small and unassuming town in the Veneto.
We took the train to the hills and then walked the hour to the garden so that we could enjoy the surrounding area. My husband then left me to visit the garden and went off in search of a locally made olive oil that he had his eye on for our aperitivo that evening.

On the approach to the garden you pass this grand and rather dramatic watergate; the original entrance that gave Venetians easy access to the garden by boat. No longer reachable by water, to enter today visitors use a slightly more modest gate, on foot, further along the garden wall.

This baroque garden, which also goes by the name of Villa Barbarigo Pizzoni Ardemani, was created in the 17th century by an important Venetian family, the Barbarigo, who were fleeing the pl…

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