Sigurtà garden park 2023: everything you need to know to visit the park
After four months of closure to the public, for the winter break, the gates of the Sigurtà Garden Park, a naturalistic pearl of the province of Verona, will reopen on Sunday 5 March 2023. The 2022 season recorded 420,000 visitors, thanks to the floral variety, cultural and social initiatives and the rich events calendar.
From the first Sunday of March 2023, visitors will be able to cross the entrance to the Park and thus savor the first signs of the now approaching spring: it will be the opportunity to see the crocuses, flowers in bright shades of yellow or purple or in softer colors such as blue, white and lilac, or discover the beauty of forsythia, a shrub with yellow-sulfur hues, which can be found near the entrance to the Garden and in the woods, and admire how the almond and prunus trees prepare for the summer .
Do not miss a regenerating walk among the grassy surfaces and ancient trees such as the Great Oak and a visit to the Great Turf, the Labyrinth, the Farm, the Viale delle Rose, fascinating even in March, with the romantic view of the Scaliger Castle of Valeggio s/M in the background.
There are different ways to visit the Second Most Beautiful Park in Europe: on foot, in an electric golf cart equipped with a special guide with GPS tracking, on board the panoramic train for a complete tour, on the electric shuttle accompanied by a guide, finally by bicycle with your own or by renting an electric version from the renting service inside the Park.
SPECIAL WOMEN’S DAY
For many years, the Sigurtà Garden Park has been celebrating Women’s Day by honoring the entrance to the Garden for all visitors. This initiative is also being proposed again for the 2023 season: on Monday 6, Tuesday 7 and Wednesday 8 March all women will be able to enter the Park for free, spending a day in Nature that smacks of imminent spring: it will be an opportunity for a selfie on the Labyrinth tower , one of the three most beautiful labyrinths in the world, for a stop at the Flowering Lakes of the Great Turf or to discover the first hints of Tulipanomania, the unmissable flowering of over a million tulips which with muscari, hyacinths and daffodils will color in the months of March and April the grassy mantles and woods of the Garden Park with ever new floral shows year after year.
Also for this start of the 2023 season, men who will accompany a woman on a visit to the Garden on 6,7,8 March will be entitled to a reduced ticket for entry, €12.00 instead of €16.00.
Not to mention that a visit to the Sigurtà Garden Park represents an opportunity to learn about its history, spanning over six centuries: the origins of the Garden date back to 1407, then over time it was enlarged and embellished and since 1941 it has belonged to the Sigurtà family. Open since March 1978, today the Park represents one of the most visited destinations in Italy, thanks to the floral and naturalistic richness, the events and its historical value (for the events calendar: https://www.sigurta.it/tutti-gli-eventi)
Last but not least, the benefits on body and mind represented by walking in the open air immersed in nature: forest bathing, properly “forest bathing” strengthens the immune system and lowers stress levels.
New for the 2023 season: on 10 April (Easter Monday), 25 April and 1 May entry to the Park will be limited and possible only with the purchase of tickets online on the website www.sigurta.it, subject to availability.
HISTORY AND ARCHITECTURE AT THE SIGURTÀ GARDEN PARK
The origin of the Park dates back to 1407 and subsequently there were various evolutions, until it opened to the public in 1978: the story step by step.
1407: During the Venetian domination of Valeggio sul Mincio, the patrician Gerolamo Nicolò Contarini bought three farms thus giving rise to the initial nucleus of the Garden.
1436: The Guarienti family became the owner of the estate: in this period they wanted to maintain the agricultural function with the cultivation of fodder and areas dedicated to orchards, vegetable gardens and woods.
1616: This year marks the passage to the Maffei family: significant changes took place such as the construction of a noble residence, designed by the architect Vincenzo Pellesina, a pupil of Palladio, and the request to draw water from the Mincio river for irrigation purposes.
1792: From the encounter between the poet Ippolito Pindemonte and the marquis Antonio Maffei, the imprint of the romantic English garden was born, a genre characterized by the combination of natural and artificial elements, where Nature is never uncultivated, even if sometimes, apparently takes on a wild character. Some traces of this choice can be seen in the construction of the Hermitage and the Castelletto, both in neo-Gothic style, and in the creation of the Votive Grotto, a perfect place for conversation, reading and music. Indeed, the Marquis Maffei was a man who loved art and appreciated the beauties of nature.
In the much-loved garden, Pindemonte also composed an epigram: Sì Dilettosa Qui Scorre La Vita / Ch’io Qui Scrupolo Avrei Make Me Eremita, a composition that still today, to commemorate his illustrious presence, can be read on a stone placed in his wood dedicated, inside the Park.
1836: Upon the death of Marquis Antonio Maffei, the entire property passed to his daughter Anna, wife of Count Filippo Nuvoloni.
1859: During the battles of San Martino and Solferino at the time of the Second War of Italian Independence, the emperors Franz Joseph I of Austria and, later, Napoleon III of France arrived at the Park. In those excited days both rulers stayed inside the Villa (the aforementioned noble residence) and observed the battlefield from Poggio degli Imperatori.
1929: The estate passed to Maria Paulon who bought the entire property, thus reuniting the possession which in previous years had been divided among the heirs of the Nuvoloni family.
1941: The Milanese pharmaceutical entrepreneur Giuseppe Carlo Sigurtà, grandfather of the current owners Giuseppe and Magda Inga Sigurtà, while in Valeggio to buy a buggy, visited this land for the first time, fell in love with it and bought it on impulse. Over time, Dr. Sigurtà was able to transform this enormous estate into one of the most evocative treasures. Doctor Sigurtà’s inseparable companion in this magnificent work was his nephew Enzo, university professor and psychiatrist: both dedicated energy and care, always acting with passion and thinking of the good of this enchanting ecological complex.
1978: On 19 March of that year Giuseppe Carlo Sigurtà opened the Garden to the public. The first visitors could only enter on board a car, but this choice changed radically with the advent of the 2000s, when the Park can be visited on foot, by bicycle, on board the panoramic train, on golf carts or electric shuttles
.1990: The Horizontal Sundial was created, designed to be valid for 26,000 years. This sundial, strongly desired by Magda and Giuseppe Sigurtà and dedicated to Galileo Galilei, is characterized by a symbol, a geometric pattern engraved electronically on the dial. The elements that constitute it (a circumference, 64 hyperbolas, 32 points and a circle), represent the “Sun source of life” in a symbolic-figurative vision”.
ARCHITECTURE AT THE SIGURTÀ GARDEN PARK
Inaugurated in 2011, the Labyrinth is one of the most popular stops for visitors of all ages: it is a path that winds through 1500 yew trees and over an area of 2500 square metres. In the center stands a tower inspired by that of the Parisian park of the Bois de Boulogne. This work of green architecture, among the three most beautiful in the world, was born from the project of Count Giuseppe Inga Sigurtà in collaboration with Adrian Fisher, one of the best known maze designers and who considers the work in the Park among the most enchanting in the panorama international.
Other examples of ecological architecture are the surreal box trees and the Great Oak.
Unlike what happens in Italian gardens, where the box trees are pruned following the rules of topiary art and thus reproducing geometric shapes, the gardeners of the Park limit themselves to “stroking” the foliage of the box trees, obtaining bushes with particular shapes and bizarre, almost surreal. Plants with robust and precious wood, there are 40,000 specimens in the Park, which represent the richest collection in the world.
The Great Oak is one of the points most loved by visitors to the Garden and with its four centuries of age it represents one of the oldest trees. It is a common oak and is considered an interesting specimen thanks to the perfect harmony between the trunk (6 meters in circumference) and the crown (120 meters in circumference), which covers an area of approximately 1000 square metres; the Great Oak reaches 40 meters in height and lives in the oldest area of the Park.
The Castelletto is one of the most important historical places: originally called Castelletto di Nina, it was built at the end of the 1700s. Used in the past as a Sala d’Armi, today it houses literary memories, such as the collection of the magazine Lo Smeraldo for which Eugenio Montale also collaborated, and scientific. Here, on a plaque, the scientists and Nobel laureates who were guests of the Garden in recent decades are commemorated: Gerhard Domagk (Nobel Prize in 1939 and discoverer of sulfonamides), Alexander Fleming (Nobel Prize in 1945 and discoverer of penicillin), Selman A. Waksman (1952 Nobel Prize and discoverer of streptomycin), Konrad Lorenz (1973 Nobel Prize and father of ethology) and Albert B. Sabin (discoverer of the oral polio vaccine).
The bronze monument dedicated to Giuseppe Carlo Sigurtà was created by the sculptor Dante Carpigiani: the work that can be admired at the top of the Great Turf is almost 4 meters high and can be observed from different points of the Park. The founder of the Parco Giardino is captured in his usual bearing: the noble figure, the serene gaze and the right hand holding the very hard boxwood stick, as if still wanting to welcome the users.
At the Sigurtà Garden Park there is also a small temple in neo-Gothic style, the Hermitage, in the past called the Hermitage of Laura. Hidden in a peaceful corner, this building was built in 1792, commissioned by Antonio Maffei, and has a façade decorated with a mullioned window. Inside it houses a statue of the Madonna, while in front of it opens a fantastic and romantic view of the Great Turf. A curiosity: in the first years of opening of the Park from the Hermitage classical music was played. The Marquis Antonio Maffei also commissioned the construction of the Grotta di Gianna: for the nobleman it was a refuge where he loved to converse about philosophy, art, poetry and love with friends. Surrounded by oaks and dense woods, the work displays a rocaille style with embedded stones and fossils; since 1942 it has been called Grotta Votiva and Carlo Sigurtà dedicated this corner of peace to the Madonna of Lourdes.
POINTS OF INTEREST AT THE SIGURTÀ GARDEN PARK
- Viale delle Rose: symbolic image with thousands of remontant ancient roses in two varieties that embellish the “telescope” view of the Scaliger Castle, outside the Park.
- Labyrinth, inaugurated in 2011, with 1500 yew plants, a central tower and green corridors, which cover an area of 2500 square meters: it is among the 3 most beautiful labyrinths in the world.
- Castelletto and Eremo: for a leap in time to the late eighteenth century, thanks to these two buildings immersed in the woods.
- Seasonal blooms in particular Tulipanomania, the most important tulip flowering in Southern Europe with over a million tulips in spring and many activities that have earned the prize for Best Tulip Festival in the world 2022, and in summer dahlias, water lilies, hydrangeas, for conclude with the foliage in autumn with Japanese maples, ginkgo trees and hornbeams.
Farm with barnyard animals on the agricultural side: here you can meet hens, ducks, turkeys, sheep and donkeys.
- 18 bodies of water, including the Water Gardens and the Flowering Ponds which are among the most visited points and home to seasonal blooms and Japanese carp.
Very ancient trees, such as the Great Oak with over four centuries of age, and Jurassic trees or trees dating back to the dinosaur era, such as ginkgo biloba and metasequoia.
Great Turf: the widest expanse of the whole Park, set for commercials, television broadcasts, fashion shootings and music videos (Gianni Morandi, Biagio Antonacci, Annalisa).
- Curious corners: the Horizontal Sundial, the Garden of Medicinal Plants, the Viale dei Tronchi Emerald.
THE AWARDS OF THE SIGURTÀ GARDEN PARK
in 2013 the Most Beautiful Park in Italy Award, established by the network www.ilparcopiubello.it
in 2015 it was awarded as the Second Most Beautiful Park in Europe by the European Garden Award
in 2016 Tulipanomania won the most beautiful flowering award in Italy, organized by the network http://www.ilparcopiubello.it
in 2019 the World Tulip Society presented the World Tulip Destination Worth Traveling For award, for excellence in the promotion and celebration of the tulip.
- in 2020 Sigurtà Park won the Travelers’ Choice Best of the Best award from Tripadvisor, an award given to realities considered among the best in Italy.
- Tiqets, one of the most popular digital ticket sales platforms for museums and attractions in the world, has awarded Parco Giardino Sigurtà at a national level and for the Best Attraction 2020: Global Winner category.
in 2022 the World Tulip Society, a Canadian society, awarded the Park with the award for Best Tulip Festival 2022 in the World. A Festival that comes to life not only thanks to the million tulips planted, but also for the numerous initiatives that revolve around this flowering, such as for example the collaboration with the municipalities of Bardolino and Sirmione, the involvement of the first elementary classes in the inauguration of the planting, an instagram photo challenge, an invitation to almost 100 painters to portray this amazing flowering and much more.
- n 2022 Parksmania, the first Italian portal dedicated to amusement parks in the world, awarded the Park with a Jury Prize for the Cracking Art seasonal event, an exhibition of almost 100 works made of regenerated plastic depicting large animals and bright colors. Visitors to the Park were thus able to admire the artistic display from the first days of June to the end of summer, encountering specimens in various points of the Park-Garden and in particular the Wild Goose on display in a world exclusive in the Water Gardens.
The Park has been part of the Grandi Giardini Italiani network since 2007, a network that includes the most beautiful gardens that can be visited in Italy; since 2020, however, it has been included in the prestigious Garden Route Italia project, aimed at enhancing Italian gardens, promoted by APGI – Associazione Parchi e Giardini d’Italia.
PTo be updated on the events calendar: www.sigurta.it and the social channels facebook, instagram, YouTube and TikTok.