The Gardens of Venice and the Veneto by Jenny Condie and Alex Ramsay

by DerdriuMarriner

The Gardens of Venice and the Veneto by Jenny Condie and Alex Ramsay describes 22 gardens in Padua, Rovigo, Stra, Treviso, Venice, Verona, and Vicenza.

Gardens attract Donna Leon’s customer base to Venice:

The Gardens of Venice and the Veneto acquaints garden-loving travelers with 22 colorful, fragrant, inviting, lively gardens in the historic northeast Italian towns of:
• Padua;
• Rovigo;
• Stra;
• Treviso;
• Venice;
• Verona; and
• Vicenza.

The gardens therefore beckon nature-loving visitors into Il Veneto, the eighth largest of the Italian Republic’s 20 administrative regions. The image-filled, information-rich tour commences with the Veneto’s capital and largest city, Venice. The four gardens extracted from the canal city’s botanical past thereby draw upon reader interest in the foods, markets, meals, places, and plants tangentially mentioned by Donna Leon in 24 mysteries solved by Commissario Guido Brunetti as well as in:
• Gondola;
• The Jewels of Paradise;
• My Venice and Other Essays; and
• Venetian Curiosities.

Donna Leon, American expatriate crime writer and resident of Venice, has added to the allure and mystique of Venice through her writings.

Donna Leon: November 1, 2010
Donna Leon: November 1, 2010

Gardens bring Shakespeareans to Padua, Venice, Verona, Vicenza


Specialists estimate the Veneto as claiming around 4,000 urban congregations and hosting an equivalent number of extant and extinct gardens. They find the survivors sufficiently inspirational to twenty-first century-configured edible, formal, informal, natural, nurtured, ornamental farms and gardens. The guide gives as representatives:

  • Padua’s Orto Botanico, Villa Barbarigo Pizzoni Ardemani, Villa Emmo, Villa Pisani Bolognesi Scalabrin, Villa Valmarana;
  • Rovigo’s Cà Dolfin-Marchiori;
  • Stra’s Villa Pisani;
  • Treviso’s Villa Barbaro a Maser;
  • Venice’s Fondazione Querini Stampalia, Giudecca, Palazzo Cappello Malipiero Barnabò, Palazzo Soranzo Cappello;
  • Verona’s Giardino di Pojega, Giardino Giusti, Villa Allegri Arvedi a Cuzzano, Villa Della Torre; and
  • Vicenza’s Giardino Jacquard, Parco di Villa Rossi, Villa Fracanzan Piovene, Villa Trento da Schio, Villa Trissino Marzotto, Villa Valmarana ai Nani.


Gardens of Venetian archipelago, a paradise of gardens and of water: Giardino Eden (Garden of Eden), private garden on Giudecca, island south of Venice's central islands

Giudecca: actually 8 connected islands, located south, across Giudecca Canal, from Venice's long southern shore
Giudecca: actually 8 connected islands, located south, across Giudecca Canal, from Venice's long southern shore

Gardens call plant-loving visitors to Rovigo, Stra, Treviso


Venice hones box, façade, platform, terrace, trellis cultivation away from brackish-flooded, high-watered, marshy, mud-flatted shorelines. Newbies mistakenly identify Venice therefore as non-green. But La Serenissima Venezia contrastingly juggles:

  • acanthus, anemone, apple, aquilegia, artichokes, aspidistra, aubergine;
  • beans, box;
  • cabbage, carob, catnip, cherry, chestnut, citrus, clematis, columbine, cornflower, courgette, crocus, cuckoo-pint, cypress;
  • elder;
  • false-acacia, fig, foxglove,  fritillary;
  • geranium, golden-rain, grape-hyacinth, grapevine;
  • hellebore, hibiscus, hickory, honeyberry, hornbeam, hyacinth, hydrangea;
  • iris, ivy;
  • Jacob’s-ladder, jasmine, Judas-tree;
  • kiwi;
  • larkspur, laurel, lavender, lemon, lily, lime, loquat, love-in-a-mist;
  • magnolia, mimosa, moss, mulberry;
  • narcissus;
  • oleander, olive, onion, ornamental grasses;
  • palm, peach, pear, periwinkle, persimmon, pine, pittosporum, plane, plum, pomegranate, poplar, poppy, potato, privet, pumpkin;
  • rose;
  • tomato;
  • viburnum, violet;
  • wild garlic, willow, winter-sweet, wisteria, wood-squill; and
  • yew.


Vicenza's Villa Valmarana ai Nani, which dates back to the 17th century, showcases roses among garden features.

Vicenza, south central Veneto, northeastern Italy
Vicenza, south central Veneto, northeastern Italy

Gardens display the Veneto’s evergreen-, stone-, water-filled naturalism


Similar flora knits the Veneto. The above-mentioned six urban clusters lodge herbaceous and woody vegetation beyond what Venice’s less forgiving environs grow. The list mixes for:

  • Padua agave, beech, bishop’s-lace, buttercup, catalpa, cedar, cyclamen, forget-me-not, fox-nut, freesia, gingko, honeysuckle, lilac, oak, ox-eye daisy, paulownia, sweet-pea, sequoia, sesame, sunflower, sweet-woodruff, tamarisk, tulip, wild-clary;
  • Rovigo aucuba;
  • Stra bergamot, chinotti, citron, grapefruit, mandarin, orange, pineapple, yucca;
  • Verona apricot, holly, hop-hornbeam, lesser-calamint; and
  • Vicenza almond, azalea, camellia, camphor, five-finger, forsythia, fuchsia, horse-chestnut, quince, red-/white-cedar, rhododendron, rice, tea-olive.

So The Gardens of Venice and the Veneto offers culturally enthralling, educationally entertaining, geo-historically enthralling insights from:

  • Jenny Condie, author;
  • Jane Crawley, editor;
  • Frances Lincoln Limited, publisher;
  • Lewis Hallam Design; and
  • Alex Ramsay, photographer.


The Gardens of Venice and the Veneto by Jenny Condie ~ photographs by Alex Ramsay ~ Available now via Amazon

Gardens for everyone in Venice and the Veneto: old, new; large, small; public, private -- from tiny monastery gardens to grand palatial landscapes. All gardens within a day's journey from Venice.
The Gardens of Venice and the Veneto



My special thanks to talented artists and photographers/concerned organizations who make their fine images available on the internet.


Padua's Villa Barbarigo Pizzoni Ardemani, which dates back to 17th century, features remarkable gardens with water works, including a plethora of functioning fountains, that emphasize aesthetic and practical contributions of water to garden designs.

Valsanzibio, central Veneto, northeastern Italy
Valsanzibio, central Veneto, northeastern Italy

Sources Consulted


Condie, Jenny. 2013. The Gardens of Venice and the Veneto. Photographs by Alex Ramsay. London, England, U.K.: Frances Lincoln Limited.


Eastern Verona's Palazzo e Giardino Giusti (Giusti Palace and Garden) dates to 16th century: palace typifies Neo-Classic style; garden is considered as one of most beautiful examples of Italian-styled (giardino all'italiana) Renaissance gardens in Europe.

Cultivated greenery, including mazes and parterres, flank a way of Italian cypress trees (Cupressus sempervirens) in Giardino Giusti.
eastern Verona, southwestern Veneto, northeastern Italy
eastern Verona, southwestern Veneto, northeastern Italy
the end which is also the beginning
the end which is also the beginning

Fireworks in Venice: black t-shirt ~ Available via AllPosters

illustration by George Barbier (October 10, 1882 - March 16, 1932) for Fêtes Galantes by Paul Verlaine (March 30, 1844 – January 8, 1896)
Fireworks in Venice, Illustration for "Fetes Galantes" by Paul Verlaine 1924
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Me and my purrfectly purrfect Maine coon kittycat, Augusta "Gusty" Sunshine

Gusty and I thank you for reading this article and hope that our product selection interests you; Gusty Gus receives favorite treats from my commissions.
DerdriuMarriner, All Rights Reserved
DerdriuMarriner, All Rights Reserved
Updated: 11/13/2021, DerdriuMarriner
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DerdriuMarriner on 06/16/2015

happynutritionist, it's the generosity of talented photographers who inspire me to acknowledge them in each and every article here! And yes, this book on the Veneto's gardens as well as the other which I review on gardens elsewhere in the Italian peninsula are wonderful!

DerdriuMarriner on 06/16/2015

Nanci, there are very sound reasons for why Venice and its lagoon are World Heritage Sites. It's nice to know that this beautiful book brings back moments and places in Venice for you. I'm sure it's what the author and photographer hope to accomplish since their book is one of the best and most accurate presentations of what I love: knowing a culture and its country through its animals and plants.

happynutritionist on 06/13/2015

You do know how to find such beautiful photos by talented people, lovely page, the book must be wonderful too.

NanciArvizu on 06/12/2015

I love Venice. Thank you for sharing such a beautiful book and the photos! It makes me miss it.

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