Gardens of the Italian Lakes by Stephen Desmond

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The gardens of the Italian Lakes are a favourite destination for garden lovers and groups. The gardens around Lake Como and Lake Maggiore, in the far north of Italy, are admired throughout the world for their beauty and variety in a magnificent natural location. This book sets out to become the standard work on these gardens as there is nothing of this kind on the market at the moment. It will appeal both to the specialist and enthusiast preparing for a visit.

The common factor for all these gardens is their setting in this landscape of exceptional scenery. Lake Como is a deep lake hemmed in like a fjord by towering mountains. Lake Maggiore has more the character of an inland sea, with ferries crossing to the famous island gardens for an afternoon in another world. Both lakes are lined with the towers, villas and grand hotels that speak of a complex history including key events in Italy's struggle to achieve nationhood, inspiration for a string of illustrious writers and composers, and a long line of distinguished visitors.

The gardens include:

Villa Melzi, Bellagio: an early 19th-century romantic park on the lake shore

Villa Carlotta, Cadenabbia: a terraced 17th-century property with woodland

Villa del Balbianello, Lenno: a famously picturesque loggia

Villa D'Este, Cernobbio: a 16th-century cascade garden with royal connections

Villa Cicogna Mozzoni, Bisuschio: an intact 16th-century villa garden

Villa Della Porta Bozzolo, Casalzuigno: a rural baroque garden

Isola Bella, Stresa: a well-known island garden

Isola Madre, Stresa: an island retreat of flowers and birds

Villa San Remigio, Pallanza: an Edwardian garden made by two lovers

Villa Taranto, Pallanza: one of the world's great woodland gardens


About Stephen Desmond

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STEPHEN DESMOND is a garden historian with many years' experience of visiting gardens in Italy. A horticulturist of over 30 years' standing, he has led specialist tours to the gardens of the Italian Lakes on more than 20 occasions. He lectures at the Universities of Oxford and Buckingham and for NADFAS, and advises widely on his subject, and writes for Country Life.MARIANNE MAJERUS is a prestigious and prolific international photographer of gardens and winner of the Garden Media Guild Features Photographer of the Year Award 2013 as well as the GMG Photographer of the Year 2010. A contributor and sole photographer of many gardening books, her new title Highgrove: A Garden Celebrated was a best-seller in 2014. Marianne lives and has a studio in London.
Published May 3, 2016 by Frances Lincoln. 224 pages
Genres: Crafts, Hobbies & Home, Travel.