Located in Valeggio sul Mincio, not far from Lake Garda, Verona and Milan, Parco Giardino Sigurtá is a nature lover’s dream. The private park is the most visited garden in Italy with over 300,000 visitors per year, and it even won the title of Best Garden in Italy in 2013.
About the park
Over 40 years ago, Carlo Sigurtá purchased the uncared-for park, which was previously the gardens of Villa Maffei, headquarters of Napoleone III in 1859. He cleaned it up, cared for it, and in 1978 opened it to the public. His grandson Enzo now takes care of it with a team of gardeners, tour guides, and other employees, and they are always looking for new ways to nurture the existing plant and wildlife and make the park more sustainable and enjoyable to visit.
The park is 600,000 square metres in size, is home to over one million tulips in the springtime, and has 18 kilometres of roads and paths for its visitors to explore.
How to get there
Citalia offers excursions that visit Parco Giardino Sigurtá from the surrounding resorts that your Italy Expert can book. You can also get to the park on your own. The easiest way to get there is by car, and can be reached from Verona and Lake Garda in under an hour or from Milan in just over. It’s also possible to take the train or bus from surrounding areas– take a look at the park’s site for more details.
How to get around the park
With so much to explore within the park’s expansive grounds, you certainly won’t get bored if you explore by foot. One of the advantages of walking is that you’ll be able to venture off of the paths designated for bikes, golf carts and shuttles.
The park’s small passenger train takes what’s called “The Enchanted Trail” and for EURO3 (free for small children or the disabled) you can hop on the train for 35 minutes and see the park this way,
Visitors can rent bikes for EUR 3 an hour, meaning you can explore the park while getting some exercise too.
By golf cart
Roam the park by golf cart to see more in less time. They can be rented for EUR16 an hour plus a deposit, and come equipped with a sat nav that can guide you to each interest point around the park. This option is great for visitors who want to explore the park on their own terms but may not be able to walk or bike. Be sure to bring your driving license if you want to rent a golf cart.
Things to see and do at Parco Giardino Sigurtá
The variety of flowers and greenery
Almost everywhere you look at Parco Giardino Sigurtá, there are beautiful flowers to admire or greenery to get lost in. With such a variety, be sure to stop and admire each bit of nature that you walk past. You can learn a bit more about the types of flowers at the park on its website.
Wander through the park’s newest attraction, a maze made from over 1,500 yew trees. The maze took six years to build and was created so that the trees can be moved around, changing the solution and ensuring that returning visitors can enjoy the maze anew each time they visit the park. Don’t worry, if you really get lost, there’s an emergency exit!
You’ll find animals everywhere at Parco Giardino Sigurtá — from butterflies to deer, the wildlife love the grounds just as much as visitors do. The TA’ Farm is home to donkeys, goats, chickens, turkeys, and ducks, and is a great educational spot for families.
The Avenue of Roses
A kilometre-long road lined with roses sounds a bit like a dream, doesn’t it? More than 30,000 Queen Elizabeth and Hybrid Polyantha & Floribunda roses bloom along the avenue, which make for some amazing photo opps. The Avenue of Roses is world-famous and is one of the park’s most popular features.
The Great Oak
The oldest tree in the garden at over 400 years old, it has a 6-metre round trunk and is the perfect spot to catch some shade or to just admire the sheer age and size of it!
I’d personally recommend planning for a picnic during your visit– with so much green grass around, how can you not be tempted? Visitors can bring their own food, but there are also five refreshment spots around the park, offering coffee, ice cream, sandwiches and more. There are also picnic benches nearby if you don’t feel like picnic-ing on the ground.
Have you visited Parco Giardino Sigurtá? Do you plan on visiting? Let us know in the comments.