Tuesday, April 24, 2012

The Secret Gardens of the Villa Borghese

"Neglected for centuries and having fallen on tough times during World War II when they served as a cabbage-producing “war garden,” the secret gardens of the Borghese were revitalized and completely restored in the 1990s. A boon arrived when archivists working in the family papers discovered the seventeenth century plant lists, which garden historians used to make this botanically faithful to the original. The gardens’ design is authentic to the period, but not necessarily their original layout here. Archaeological work during restoration revealed a paver here, a step there. But, mostly the garden design represents a synthesis of what we know about Baroque secret gardens in general. To get the best experience, act like a Borghese and ascend to the second floor of the casino from where the geometry is best experienced." - Paul Bennett

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