Updated: Aug 14, 2020
A few steps from Verona and Lake Garda, Sigurtà Park, the treasure immersed in the greenery of Valeggio sul Mincio
In the year of its 42nd birthday, it is one of the most beautiful parks in Italy and one of the best destinations inVeneto!
The Sigurtà park
Embedded in uprights of fervent prosperity, Parco Giardino Sigurtà raises its colourful blooms for as many as three seasons a year, offering grace and a display of colours, scents and colours to hundreds of thousands of visitors. People arrive from all over the world to admire the Tulipanomania of March and April that leaves everyone breathless when more than a million bulbs dotted with the most varied shades bloom, and, or, the Alley of thirty thousand roses born in May studding an enchanted kilometre-long walk under the absorbed and disruptive vigilance of the Scaliger Castle (which rises outside the Park but that seems to be within the walls of the Park thanks to a special optical effect). On eighteen stretches of water, brushed with wisdom and value, in summer hundreds of daytime, nocturnal and tropical water lilies, lotus flowers, water hibiscus, papyri and false papyri triumph. Panoramic paths, turf and enchanting views characterize this corner of greenery, already designated as the most beautiful park in Italy in 2013, as the second most beautiful park in Europe in 2015 and as the World Tulip Destination Worth Travelling For in 2019 thanks to the impressive beauty of the blooming tulips.
The labyrinth of the Sigurtà Park
The Labyrinth, inaugurated in the summer of 2011 after six years of hard work, is today one of the most popular stops for young and old. Born from a project by Count Giuseppe Inga Sigurtà in collaboration with Adrian Fisher, one of the best known maze designers of international fame, this "green" work houses 1500 yew trees that draw a path on an area of 2500 square meters. In the centre stands a tower inspired by that of the Bois de Boulogne park in Paris: from here you can admire the geometries of this point of interest and enjoy a fantastic view of the Aquatic Gardens and the Grande Quercia (the great oak tree) that, with its 400 years of age, represents one of the oldest trees in the park. Other places of interest are: the Castelletto, the Horizontal Sundial, the Stone of Youth, the Hermitage, the forty thousand Bossi (the richest collection in the world).
In 2020, the 42nd birthday of the Sigurtà Park
The Sigurtà Garden Park celebrates the 42nd year of opening to the public in 2020: it was on a sunny Sunday on 19th March 1978 when the gates of this fabulous green corner were opened to visitors for the first time. However, knowing the origins of the park (dating back to 1407) and discovering its points of interest allows us to understand why Dr. Carlo Sigurtà wanted to open the park's doors to the public years ago and how, with the precious help of his nephew Enzo, turned it into one of the most visited tourist destinations in the world.
Today Carlo 's grandchildren, the sons of Enzo, Giuseppe and Magda continue their work with passion and dedication with the aim of making everyone aware of the natural and cultural heritage of the Sigurtà Garden Park, especially to the younger generations.
Famous place for having hosted, during the short century, Nobel Prizes such as Alexander Fleming, Selman Waksman, Gerhard Domagk and Konrad Lorenz, universally renowned scientists such as Albert B. Sabin, or even the Blue Blood of Prince Charles of England, today Heir to the Throne of Great Britain, and Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid al Maktoum, Prime Minister and Vice-President of the United Arab Emirates, the Iron Lady Margaret Thatcher, the Prime Minister Giulio Andreotti, the West German Chancellor Schmidt, the director Luchino Visconti, the journalist Indro Montanelli and the violinist Uto Ughi.
The garden can be discovered on foot, strolling around, with electric golf carts, panoramic trains, electric shuttles or by joining the prosperous cycle tourism wrapping around these areas making the two wheels capable of constituting the literal flagship of a Padano path without mystical, magical glimpses that transcend the location.
The history of the Sigurtà park
The ancient history of the Sigurtà Garden Park dates back to 14th May 1407, when, during the domination of the Serenissima Republic of Valeggio sul Mincio, the patrician Gerolamo Nicolò Contarini purchased the entire property that, at the time, had a purely agricultural function. It was in fact a farm or rather, as ancient documents tell us, a "brolo cinto de mura": lands cultivated with fodder enclosed within a high and safe wall. However, within the brolo, there was also another space: a small and geometric garden, adjacent to the main house, dedicated to the idleness of the nobles. It is from here that the ancient origins of the Sigurtà Garden Park date back. The history of the brolo continues and, in 1417, to give prestige to its property, the Venetian nobleman Contarini built a "Domus Magna" on an existing building. The structure was characterized by a main building, where the Contarini family lived, and by smaller houses for the employees who worked the land.
Various dynasties succeeded one another in the ownership of the property such as the Guarienti and the Maffei with whom it remained for over two centuries. One of the daughters of the Marquis Maffei marries Count Nuvoloni, bringing the park gardens as a dowry, then passing to the new owners after 200 years. It is in this period that the park welcomes among its most illustrious guests: the Emperor Francis Joseph of Austria and Napoleon III of France; the latter will also occupy the villa, at the time still connected to the park, during the summer of 1859.
In 1941, after further changes of ownership, the possession was purchased by the Pharmaceutical Industrialist Giuseppe Carlo Sigurtà who, making use of a centuries-old right to withdraw water from the Mincio river, a possibility forgotten by his predecessors, transformed the arid hilly lands restoring their original splendour and lush vegetation. The Castelletto, the Hermitage and the Votive Grotto were also renovated and under the direction first of Giuseppe Carlo Sigurtà and then of his nephew Enzo, University Professor and Psychiatrist, the park was enlarged from the original 22 hectares to the current 60 hectares. The Horizontal Sundial was built in 1990 and the Labyrinth was inaugurated in 2011. Energy, fission, care, passion guarantee, even with the new generations, the insane and spectacular estate of the enchanting ecological complex that, with its impeccable research on the flowering of tulips that colours the park in April, today excels in South Europe, for naturalistic interest, in competition with the Dutch beauties on the European level.
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