Belmond discloses its grounds of scented paradises of flora from Venice to the island of Madeira.

Belmond discloses its grounds of scented paradises of flora from Venice to the island of Madeira

In the eighteenth century, the Giudecca island was considered Venice’s “garden of delights”. On the island, one could also find convents (such as the Zitelle and Convertite), Academies (such as the Academy of Philosophy and the Convitto dei Nobili) but, mostly, large gardens. It was here that the city dwellers, generally confined to narrow alleys and small courtyards, could enjoy fresh air and open spaces.

Today, the Giudecca has changed greatly, but some of the gardens that were the favourite summer retreats of the Venetian noble families still exist. One of the most attractive is the Casanova Garden, inside Belmond Hotel Cipriani, where the legendary lover, Giacomo Casanova, once held clandestine trysts.

The garden confines with a secret passage at the end of the back yard, you can find a synergic garden, where our Michelin starred Chef Davide Bisetto works with Michele Savorgnano, an independent farmer with a degree in permaculture and organic farming, in the resort’s very own ‘Garden of Eden’, to select from more than 300 species of plants each day including 15 types of basil, 20 types of tomato, artichoke, mallow, poppy, and calendula, bringing the depth of flavour and decoration to Bisetto’s creations.

Portofino is a dream and seduces the mind not only with its Dolcevita images, the famous brand names of its boutiques, the majestic yachts and VIP guests, but also for the lush nature of the Natural Park that surrounds it. Together they make a perfect combination and the destination attracts those who love both green and experiential tourism.

Belmond Hotel Splendido forms an integral part of this protected area and boasts lush gardens with views of the waves that caress the shore just a few metres away. The hotel’s garden extends over 2 hectares offering a green oasis that continues across several hillside terraces. The centuries-old park is remarkable for its great variety of flora consisting of hundreds of olive, oak, Aleppo pine and beech trees, along with different species of Mediterranean scrub like arbutus and mastic. Enriching the park of majestic palm trees is a Lebanon cedar, and all live together with 60-year-old peonies, agapanthus, azaleas, camellias, bougainvilleas and different species of roses. They welcome guests as they walk along the terrace with the four seasons’ lemons and the emblematic wisteria climbing across the pergola to the rooms, offering a scented purple waterfall to enchant guests.

Since 2006, an area of absolute peace with a breathtaking panoramic view is dedicated to Massages and Open Air treatments. An ornamental feature is the botanical garden that reflects Ligurian essences with a wide variety of aromatic herbs such as basil, “king” of traditional cuisine, rosemary, chives, sage, parsley, bay, peppermint, Moroccan Marjoram, lemon thyme and lavender. Here, Executive Chef Corrado Corti finds inspiration for his delicious dishes based on the freshness and seasonality of the products.

With the soul of the fifteenth century, Belmond Villa San Michele is a garden full of history. Everything began when Niccolò Davanzati donated the little farm with adjoining woodland to the Franciscan monks of Fiesole, who then started to cultivate the land and to construct a chapel. The current setting of the gardens is divided into two main parts; located in the front of the imposing façade is the first one, with boxes of hedges and flowerbeds. Continuing along the Loggia leads to a harmonious garden terrace, where the Monks used to cultivate and now consisting of 35
various types of historic plantations.
The formal Italian garden and terraces were created in the early Eighties by Pietro Porcinai, one of the finest Italian landscape architects of the 20th century. Today, the gardens of the hotel still maintain in a perfect harmony, like the paintings of the Florentine Gardens in the first Four Hundred. Overlooking to the city of Florence, a stunning and unique view of both day and night is presented. The guests can explore the woods surrounded by an ancient wall originally built in 1300, or discover through many paths that lead up to the 1589 Chapel of San Francesco. The gardens
and the little forest of the hotel occupy a total of 11 hectares, the equivalent of 12 football fields.
Today, they are immaculately maintained by the Frontera family, taking care of all the gardens of Belmond Hotels in Italy and Mallorca.

Three are the words that can better describe the Gardens at Belmond Hotel Caruso: beauty, simplicity and authenticity. A landscape made of terraces facing the sea, with a deliberately non-formal, but spontaneous and elegant architecture. “The best moment to discover them is in the morning”, says the Hotel Head Gardener Gaetano, fourth generation gardeners, who started to work for Belmond in May 2005. Full of passion and talent, he is always willing to share his knowledge with the hotel guests in a tour of the grounds where he explains how amazing it has been to organize the exterior areas of the hotel: “every day was a new experience trying to dress the terraces with all the trees and plants that belong to Mediterranean flora”, he admits proudly.

Pomegranates trees and Prunus everesti (a rare variety of apple tree) decorate the lower part of the area while tall cypresses lead the walk to the Hotel Swimming Pool, embellished by dozens of varieties of historical roses: cecile brunner, alfred carriere, gloire de dijon, rose banksiae lutea e alba. In the lower part, white and fragrant iceberg roses highlight the borders while oranges, lemons and olives trees with their evergreen leaves offer shade and rest on the hot summer days.
The elegance of the bushes, the intense green leaves of abelias and oleanders, finally, escort to the heart of this‘natural’ paradise: “the Herbs Garden”. Here mint, thyme, sage and other local spices grow abundantly and accomplices Mimmo Di Raffaele (the Hotel’s Executive Chef) in creating delicious recipes from the Mediterranean tradition. A wonder for all the seasons.

Two oasis of greenery in Taormina, the beautiful gardens of Belmond Grand Hotel Timeo and Villa Sant’Andrea seem to be pencil drawn for their intense and vibrant colors.

Belmond Grand Hotel Timeo has several angles deserving attention: the first bright spot is already visible at the hotel entrance, a corridor full of plants and cheerful flowers of a thousand shades. And this is just a preview of what is in the rest of the garden, full of roses and geranium, trees of palm, lemons and oranges in a triumph of colors. A true milestone is the new organic vegetable garden, set within the property’s park and full of Sicilian scents, including aromatic herbs such as rosemary, basil, fresh thyme and mint, as well as local produce such as eggplants, zucchini and
sun-dried tomatoes. Here is where Chef Roberto Toro finds inspiration for his delicious dishes characterized by the freshness and seasonality of ingredients.

Belmond Villa Sant’Andrea, located on the bay of Mazzarò and built by an aristocratic family in the 1830s within a subtropical garden, this villa is a secluded retreat still maintaining the charm of a private residence surrounded by greenery. The hotel’s lush park, that surrounds a sunny private beach, makes this place a paradise for everyone. The garden is ideal for wearing sneakers and jogging in the morning or for reading a book on a bench in the shadow of a palm tree. Within the large green areas, there is a beautiful terrace dedicated to outdoor wellness treatments to
immerse yourself in Mediterranean essences with orange, amber, sandalwood and jasmine rituals: the right place to indulge in a cuddle in perfect Sicilian style.

The gardens at LRS are not only extensive but encompass flora that is truly representative of the property’s
geographical location.

Orange and lemon groves give way to herbaceous plants and herb gardensbordering the enormous lawn framed by stone walls where creepers encroach on each other mingling blues, whites, reds and pinks. Sculptures are dotted in and around the trees forming an integral part of the whole, while rambling roses climb columns and reach over beams to dangle and dance in space. Climbing higher through steps and terraces the terrain becomes rockier and here there are pomegranate, carob, fig and fruit trees which slowly give way to the silvery olives whose sculpted trunks are a joy to the eye, each one a natural work of art.

Reid’s gardens are set in ten acres of lush semi tropical gardens, where hanging vines merge with glorious displays of geraniums, hibiscus and salvias. Our guests find it the perfect place to relax and discover the beauty of the plants and birds that make Madeira such a magical place.

Reid’s gardeners ensure that the garden is a riot of colour throughout the year. Featuring trees from all over the world, including Brazil, China, North and South America, Australia, Africa, Korea and Japan alongside flowering shrubs, including hibiscus, bougainvillea, mimosa, wisteria and rhododendron, and a rich variety of the brilliant flowers that have earned Madeira its title as the ‘Garden of the Atlantic’.

The gardens are synonymous with Reid’s Palace and in bygone days a walk in the garden would bring you upon Sir Winston Churchill reflecting on his memoirs, or Sir George Bernard Shaw mastering the finer points of the tango on the lawns.


Notes to Editors

For more information please contact:

Laura Di Bert
Regional Director of PR Italy & Mallorca
T +39.041.2408805

Luana Mazzega Assistant
Regional Director of PR Italy & Mallorca
T +39.041.2408805

For high-res images: and

About Belmond Ltd.
Belmond Ltd. is a global collection of exceptional hotel and luxury travel adventures in some of the world’s most inspiring and enriching destinations. Established almost 40 years ago with the acquisition of Hotel Cipriani in Venice, the Company owns and operates 47 unique and distinctive hotel, rail and river cruise experiences in many of the world’s most celebrated destinations. From city landmarks to intimate resorts, the collection includes Belmond Grand Hotel Europe, St. Petersburg; Belmond Copacabana Palace, Rio de Janeiro; Belmond Maroma Resort & Spa, Riviera Maya; and Belmond El Encanto, Santa Barbara. Belmond also encompasses safaris, six luxury tourist trains including the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express, three river cruises and ‘21’, one of New York’s most storied restaurants.

Follow BelmondTwitter • Facebook • Instagram

Gardens of delights

Download PDF - ENG >>