Stages of the fantastic
The particular wealth of the baroque period is revealed also in the creation of the splendid gardens of residences, villas and palaces which recreate places where imaginative and grandiose scenic effects amaze the visitor with fantastic plot twists: sought-after and exotic colours and essences, plant labyrinths, hedges, flowerbeds, plants “sculpted” with topiary art, fountains and marble statues, panoramic views, differences in levels, woods, hills and waterways, grottos, cliffs and rocks reproduced artificially; fountains and water lilies, waterfalls and water chains.
Among others, in Piedmont and famous all over the world, the gardens of Isola Bella, on Lake Maggiore, in the Verbano area stand out, gardens where statues and architectural decorations alternate with geometries and botanical magnificence, with obelisks and fountains which amaze the visitor at every corner; in Turin, the Gardens of the Royal Palace, designed by André La Nôtre, architect to the Sun King; right outside the city, the garden of the Reggia di Venaria, UNESCO World Heritage Site, since 2007 returning to new splendour after going through a complex restoration, it is unique among the Italian gardens for the magnificence of the perspectives and the vastness of the natural landscape surrounded by the woods of the Parco della Mandria and by the mountain chain of the Alpes. The primary role belongs however to the gardens of Villa della Regina (Queen’s Villa) and of the Castello di Agliè (Castle of Agliè), with their Italian-style gardens dating back to the XVII century. We also mention the garden of the Castello di Masino (newly rebuilt) which dominates from a height opposite from the suggestive moraine barrier of the Serra of Ivrea, with one of the largest labyrinths in Italy and, in the Cuneo area, the baroque gardens of the Castles of Guarene, brought back to the original beauty by a recent restoration.