Art&Style

The Royal Gardens of Venice

Loved by Princess Sissi, they are now a paradise of rare blooms

by Lavinia Colonna Preti
The Royal Gardens of Venice — Veneto Secrets

Overlooking the St Mark's basin, the wonderful gardens have returned to their royal splendor thanks to the recent restoration by the Venice Gardens Foundation.

The Royal Gardens of Venice, which overlook the St Mark’s basin and cover an area of 5,000 m2, have become famous in history for being so loved by Princess Sissi, the famous wife of the Austrian Emperor Franz Joseph, that their public concession was revoked. During her long stays in Venice between 1857 and 1862, it seems, in fact, that the empress truly enjoyed walking alone and freely along their avenues and, in particular, having coffee in the romantic greenhouse.

Wanted by Napoleon, as part of the 1807 Marciana Area reform project born from the idea of making the Procuratie Nuove seat of the Royal Palace, in 2019 they were returned to the public in all their regal beauty thanks to a long restoration carried out by the Venice Gardens Foundation in partnership with Assicurazioni Generali.

The Royal Gardens of Venice
The Royal Gardens of Venice

The delicate work of renewal of the green part was carried out by the gardener-architect Paolo Pejrone, famous for having created some of the most famous gardens in the world for important clients such as the Agnelli, the Rothschilds, the Aga Khan Karim and Valentino Garavani.

If originally the tree and the floral species came in part from the park of the Villa Reale in Stra with very rare and unusual botanical choices that had to testify to the power of the owners, the new project has revisited the original one in a contemporary way, creating new shaded spaces and preferring less delicate species that could ensure a show of constant blooming over time.

An absolute marvel is the cast iron pergola, completely covered with white and purple wisteria, flanked by benches from which you can enjoy the lavish flowering, from March to October, of the many beautiful floral species that decorate the garden, from daffodils to tulips, from roses to irises.

The Royal Gardens of Venice
The Royal Gardens of Venice

But the real protagonist of the Gardens is the spectacular Cercis siliquastrum, also known as the Judas Tree, located right at the entrance, which in March explodes in a very intense purple-pink bloom, which you can see in the photos.

If you are in Venice, resting on one of the benches to read the newspaper, or having a drink at the Coffee House Pavilion designed by the architect Lorenzo Santi between 1816 and 1817, admiring the old greenhouse and the drawbridge connecting the Procuratie, is truly one of the most beautiful shows that the lagoon city can offer.

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