Parco Giardino Sigurtà is a park and garden in Valeggio sul Mincio, Verona, near the charming village of Borghetto sul Mincio.
The park is one of the most fascinating of Italy; it was voted most beautiful park of Italy in 2013; in 2015 it was awarded with the second place in Europe’s most Beautiful Parks and was voted “the most beautiful flower display in Italy”; in 2017 it obtained European recognition for its ecological gardening. Every year, from March to November, hundreds of thousands of visitors enter the park to enjoy this paradise on earth.
This giant green area boasts a beautiful roses avenue, a huge lawn, water gardens and small lakes, a medicinal herbs garden and a maze, historical buildings, box trees and centenary oaks.
History of Parco Sigurtà
Parco Giardino Sigurtà is not only naturally beautiful, it is also rich in history.
In 1417 the patrician Nicolò Girolamo Contarini built a “Domus Magna”, a villa surrounded by homes for farmer workers, in an agricultural estate with a small garden. In 1616 the Guarienti family, owners of the estate since 1436, started to enlarge the garden, that became an amenable place for the delight of guests visiting the villa. In 1776 the Maffei family obtained water-drawing rights from the nearby river Mincio for irrigation purposes; the opportunity to get water from the river changed the fate of the park.
A big change came at the end of the 18th Century, with the visit by poet Ippolito Pindemonte; his uncle Marquis Antonio Maffei, at the time owner of the estate, started to envision a romantic English style garden, and at the beginning of the 19th Century a neo-Gothic temple (now called the Hermitage), the Castelletto and the Grotto were built on the estate. In 1836 the park changed ownership; the new famly, the Nuvoloni, didn’t look after it too much and the property began its slow but fatal decline. Despite the neglect, in 1859 the Nuvoloni family hosted at the park Franz Joseph I of Austria and Napoleon III of France, in Verona to sign the armistice to end the Second Italian War of Independence. In 1902 Laura and Francesca Nuvoloni decided to split the park in two parts, ruining the whole estate.
In 1941 the Milanese pharmaceutical entrepreneur Carlo Sigurtà was in Valeggio to buy a horse-drawn carriage. On an impetus, he decided to buy the large landed property, at the time detached from its own history and its memories almost lost. Sigurtà started the great works of refurbishing the gardens, also thanks to the water he could draw from the Mincio River. The majesty of the old trees came back to light and the Castelletto, Grotto and Hermitage were rebuilt. He also bought more properties, increasing the park from 22 to 60 hectares.
March 19, 1978 was a big day for Parco Giardino Sigurtà. Carlo Sigurtà opened the park to the public. On this sunny day, the first visitors entered the park full of expectation and curiosity.
In 1990 was created the Horizontal Meridian, with a design that should ensure its accuracy for 26,000 years. In 2011, after 6 years of works, was inaugurated the maze, made with 1,500 yew trees that lead the visitor along paths over an area of 2,500 square meters.
In recent years particular attention has been paid to the flowering of tulips, and this effort has been rewarded. In 2016 Tulipanomania, the flowering of over a million tulips, has been adjudged the “Most Beautiful Flower Display in Italy” by Parkmania Awards.
Flowerings at Parco Giardino Sigurtà
Every season takes different colors and shapes at Parco Giardino Sigurtà.
Hyacinths, Narcissus and Crocuses are the first flowers to wake up after the winter.
They are soon followed by the flowering of Tulips, one the main attraction of the park. From March to April, a million flowers representing 300 different types of tulips embellish the lawn of the park. Fritillaries with their peculiar shape are often twinned with the tulips, to give contrasting colors and shape.
From the end of April to mid May thousands of Irises color the kilometer of the Avenue of the Fountains and Irises.
There’s a long avenue named after another important flowering at Parco Giardino Sigurtà: the roses. The Avenue of the Roses is probably the most photographed part of the park.
The flowerings at the 18 lakes and ponds of the park are the must of the Summer season. Water Lilies and Lotus Flowers charm the visitor with their delicate beauty.
Another flower of the Summer is the Canna Indica; the lively colors of these flowers accompany the visitors along the panoramic walk, on the highest point of the park. Hydrangeas, Marigolds and Hibiscus are other beauties of the season.
During the hot Summer months the big trees of the park offer a great shelter from the heat.
Begonias, Asters (or “Settembrini”), Impatiens and Sunpatiens brighten up the park in Autumn with their incredible colors.
During this season the best sight is the explosion of colors of the trees leaves.
Events at Parco Sigurtà
Parco Giardino Sigurtà is often animated with interesting events. There are art exhibitions, yoga evenings, kids shows, photography exhibitions, a buskers day, table tennis tournaments, a fun run, opera and cosplay.
Inside the park there’s an Educational Farm with donkeys, goats, chickens, turkeys and ducks. The shearing of the sheep, organised once a year, is a nice event that can be attended freely.
For the most romantics, it’s also possible to get married at the park.
Check the website www.sigurta.it for more information.
How to get to Parco Giardino Sigurtà
You can get there by car, from the Highway A4 Peschiera exit or Highway A22, Nogarole Rocca exit. Or you can take a train to Peschiera or Verona; from these stations there are buses to Valeggio sul Mincio. The closest airport is Verona Villafranca.
You can also get to Parco Giardino Sigurtà on a bike from Peschiera sul Garda. There’s an easy and beautiful cycling path along the Mincio River, that connects Peschiera to Mantova (45km). Valeggio is at about 15km from Peschiera. Coming from Peschiera, you need to arrive to Borghetto sul Mincio, a little hamlet. Valeggio is just up the road.
In Peschiera there are many bike rentals. You can take your bike to the park and visit the park on your bike.
How to visit Parco Giardino Sigurtà
With its 60 hectars, Parco Giardino Sigurtà is quite big, but visiting it on foot is the best way to admire all its beauties. At the entrance you will be given a map that can help you organise your tour.
If you are not too much into walking, you can rent a bike (or bring your own with no extra charge), an electric golf-cart with 4 sittings, or a shuttle with a professinal guide. There’s also a fun train (with a voice guide) that follows a 6km route.
Parco Giardino Sigurtà is a relaxing place where everyone can get their fill of energy, it’s great fun for adults and kids alike; a must visit for those who are in the area.