The Hanbury Gardens in Ventimiglia are among the best known Italian gardens. They are located in the suburb of Mortola Inferiore, close to the French border. These botanical gardens are divided into several secions, including an Australian rain forest.
Hanbury Gardens Ventimiglia
Adres, openingstijden en toegangsprijs
Adres: Corso Montecarlo, 43 – 18039 Ventimiglia (località Mortola Inferiore). Phone: +39 0184229507. Opening times: From March to mid-June and from mid-September to mid-October from 9.30 a.m. to 5 p.m.; from mid-June to mid-September from 9.30 a.m. to 6 p.m.; from mid-October to the end of February from 9.30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Closed: Mondays from November to February). Entrance fee: 9 Euros; 65+ and children between 6 and 14 years of age: 7,50 Euros; family ticket (parents plus children between 6 and 14 years of age): 25 Euros. (NB: During the Covid-crisis, the museum will remain closed).
History and description
The Hanbury Gardens are the brainchild of Thomas and Daniel Hanbury. The two brothers were among the many Englishmen who visited the Riviera in the 19th century and liked it so much that they ended up staying.
They started the Botanical Gardens around the fortified 17th century former Palazzo Orengo in 1867. Apart from the indigenous plants and flowers they managed to import a notable variety of subtropical species. The imports prospered thanks to the mild climate and the location protecting the vegetation from the cold northern winds.
The Palazzo Orengo and its tower were later altered to give them a more British feel. It is now called the Museum of Villa Hanbury.
The garden slopes down toward the beach. There are various sections, including the Australian forest, the succulents, the garden of scents, exotic fruit trees and citrus trees. The pathways and stairs leading down have a total length of around 5 kilometres.
There are around 3500 species of plants, trees and flowers and a herbarium counting 15.000 species.
The Hanbury Gardens are further decorated with temples, statues and other elements.
The ancient Via Julia Augusta runs through the bottom part of the park, which is spread out over 18 hectares of land.
Bombings during World War II left the gardens in a bad state. This was only rectified in 1960, after the State had purchased the grounds.