The Garden of Ninfa in Italy, Possibly the Most Beautiful in the World
A place whose antiquity has gracefully awaited the arrival of thousands of people from around the world, to delight them and remind them of something they had forgotten.
This is “the most beautiful garden in the world”, according to the New York Times, and to thousands of people that have explored this marvelous place located just a few hours from Rome, in the ruins of the City of Ninfa, found on the border of Sermoneta, Norma and Cisterna di Latina: three feminine cities, like the ones Calvino describes as invisible and symbolic.
The ruins erected there that were once a fortress and agricultural centre for the Roman Empire, are now a theatrical stage that wraps the space for the wanderers. After centuries and centuries of ruin, Ninfa was returned to her former glory during the Twentieth century. Initially, Gelasio Caetani was able to secure the castle’s restoration and then turned it into a summer estate. Overtime he brought in different plants from around the world, gradually creating a magnificent garden of an Amazonian but cared for character; a green melange of chaos and English romanticism. As if it acted by its own accord, the garden opened paths amidst its foliage so that over 60,000 people who visit it every year could be delighted by it.
What is truly outstanding about the garden is its land. It is located in a part of the world where the corresponding climatic phenomenon allows plants to grow up to three times their normal size and exceed their usual time span by several years. The sea is only a few kilometres away, a mountain shelters it from the wind and protects it from marine currents, and light rainfall waters it every evening, granting it the necessary moistness and an air of mystery. Among the treasures we can find there are Twelfth century frescoes, a crystalline river whose banks are covered in flowers, Japanese maple trees, chromatic apple trees, Mexican Yuccas, orchids growing from cherry trees and seas of lavender.
As any fertile and healthy garden, the Ninfa Garden is never the same from one month to the next. Perhaps as in Heraclitus’ river, whoever visits it and returns will never return to the same place. It exists as a representative oasis of the cycles of nature. Ninfa promises nymphs and survival throughout time.
Guided visits, no matter the weather, depart from Rome every 10 minutes.
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