Under bright-blue skies accented with a spattering of puffy-white clouds — ideal photo-shoot conditions — I recently got the VIP treatment on a special journalists-only tour of Parco Giardino Sigurtà (Sigurtà Garden Park) located in Valeggio sul Mincio, near Lake Garda in the province of Verona.
As part of a legion of scribes and shooters, I was placed in the capable hands of Elena, one of the park’s expert guides, and taken on a walking tour of part of this 60 hectare botanical oasis to experience firsthand Tulipanomania, the extraordinary shower of color from the fioritura (flowering) of no less than 1 million tulips planted from bulbs cultivated in the Netherlands and Turkey. This incredible cavalcade of color is the second largest flowering of tulips in Europe, surpassed only by the blooms inside Keukenhof Gardens in Lisse, NL.
If you’ll put on your sunglasses, let’s have a look.
Bestowed the prestigious “Italy’s Most Beautiful Park” award, Sigurtà Garden Park, open continuously from early March to early November, is a stunning feast for the eyes and the perfect venue for a family outing.
Upon arrival, you can hop aboard an electric ten-person shuttle bus, complete with guide, or hire a golf cart with its own GPS system for a tour around the park.
There’s a smart white train too, that circumnavigates the park’s Enchanted Trail. And, bicycles are readily available for rent, or you can BYOB (bring your own bike), if you’re a more energetic visitor.
Failing wheeled transport, there’s always the good old-fashioned option of walking the beautiful lawns in one’s bare feet — which is encouraged by the park — or merely lounging on the grass with a picnic while the younger members of the family run about in safety, dribbling soccer balls and flying kites.
Among the many and varied things to see and do in this lovely park along the banks of the River Mincio is the Maze.
Of traditional design and great fun to explore, this 2,500 m² labyrinth of 1,500 yew trees comes to you complete with “emergency exits” for the faint-hearted and a few lookout points for those who lose their bearings.
Sigurtà Garden Park also boasts the Water Gardens, the Turtle Pool, the Great Lawn, 18 ornamental flowering lakes, a unique collection of 40,000 box plants, a 400-year-old oak tree, Viale delle Rose, an avenue of 30,000 rose bushes that are poised to burst forth come May, and fantastic panoramic views that take your camera lens far beyond the garden park.
Along with the much-heralded tulip and rose flowerings, there are an additional 19 species of flowers that bloom at various times during the park’s open season. So, no matter when you visit, the gardens will always be bathed in color.
Equipped with all facilities imaginable, if you’re ever in the Verona area with a day to spare then Sigurtà Garden Park is MUST-SEE. For complete information, just click HERE.
©The Palladian Traveler