Villa Taranto Botanical Gardens

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The Villa Taranto Gardens in Italy were opened to the public in 1952, and are open from April through October of every year. These gardens are widely considered to be some of the most important ones in the world because they contain so many different varieties of botanical species. Originally conceived of by Scotsman Captain Neil McEarcharn, the gardens are constructed in an English style with plenty of Italian accents throughout.


Captain Neil McEarcharn bought an Italian estate in 1931, and set about transforming the landscape into a breathtaking series of gardens. His idea was to construct English-style gardens to remind him of home, and it took nine years to do so. Many of the plants found in Villa Taranto are not native to Italy, so it took a great deal of care to help them acclimatize and thrive in this different setting. McEacharn named the gardens Villa Taranto in honor of his ancestor, Marshal McDonald, who was named the Duke of Taranto by Napoleon.


Though the gardens are landscaped in the English style, you’ll also find Italian features such as statues, fountains, ponds, and more. There are over seven kilometers of pathways to take visitors through 16 hectares of trees, flowers, and plants from all over the world. Eucalyptus, azaleas, rhododendrons, maples, hydrangeas, and many tropical plants can be seen throughout the grounds of Villa Taranto. Special events throughout the open season highlight different species in bloom, such as during the tulip week of late April through May.

This article is part of Santa Rita Landscaping’s ongoing blog series, The Most Spectacular Gardens in the World.

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the most spectacular gardens in the world

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