Places of interest24 September 2019

Bordighera: Gardens and Villa Garnier [Video & photo gallery]

"A place that puts you at peace, the sea that surrounds you together with the earth".

Bordighera: Gardens and Villa Garnier [Video & photo gallery]

It was 1871 when Charles Garnier, French architect and designer of the Paris Opera, discovered Bordighera; in love with the place, he chose to build his villa on a land outside the walls of the old city, which descended towards the sea and the fishermen's beach: the Arziglia. An elegant building was built, characterized by a thin and slender tower, so particular as to become a model for the architecture of the Riviera and the Côte d'Azur. Inside you can admire splendid frescoes and a small chapel. It develops on three floors which can be accessed through a wooden staircase that leads to the tower in Moorish style.

Around the Villa, Garnier wanted to create a luxuriant garden that he created using the "terracing", that is a system, very widespread in this part of Liguria, that allows to modify the steep slopes to have a flat space for the cultivations. In this way, an area of ​​6,000 square meters was obtained by digging the hill where the dwelling stood. Of these, as many as 2,500 square meters can be visited today, accessible with comfortable and fragrant walks; among a variety of Mediterranean plants such as olive, laurel, fig, tamarisk, and citrus, some exotic essences have been included, such as the Dracena draco, the false pepper, the camphor tree, the giant bird-of-paradise flower and 15 different types of palms including the Phoenix dactylifera. The remaining part of the garden is occupied mainly by citrus trees and houses a small greenhouse and a vegetable garden disposable to the nuns of the Congregation of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Aosta, who runs the Casa per Ferie which is based in the Villa.

A curiosity: the garden houses a column of the Tuileries Palace in Paris, probably brought  as a gift by friends to Garnier , who was a great admirer of this building.

Via Garnier, 11 - Bordighera (IM) - ​​+39 0184 261833

 Visits are open to all.

For information and reservations call +39 338 4536788


Judit Neuberger

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