A Palace Garden on the Grand Canal

It’s one of the most famous gardens in Venice. Everyone has watched out for this garden from the vaporetto as it is located in a very prominent position, overlooking the bend of the Grand Canal at San Samuele. It’s been featured in many films and it has often served as stage, also for Giacomo Casanova …

Today, it’s us assembled in front of the doors of the palace, the Venice and Veneto Instagramer community, at the #FourGardensOneCommunity meet invited by Giuseppe and Anna, admins of IG Venice and IG Veneto. It’s Sunday 19 April 2015, and we are rather excited as a long-time dream is coming true for many of us.


The far end of the rose garden is looking out upon the Grand Canal. But here we stand, on the doorstep of a stone-paved courtyard, leading to a formal garden. It is divided by two straight gravel paths leading down to the Grand Canal.

The garden is artistically structured by the lush green flower beds lined with low box plants. There are not many blossoms  yet, the lilies are just coming into bloom. Still, there are trees clad in fluffy pink blossoms, the  Judas trees. In the courtyard we are about to enter, next to a pozzo (well), the ninfeo d’Ercole  (a water-lilies-filled stone basin) and other marble stone statues make for a beautiful stage on a Sunday morning.

This is a garden the young Casanova used to visit around the year 1740. He described the garden’s owner, Alvise di Malipiero, in his memoirs Histoire de ma vie. The premises (palace and garden) count quite a few owners. First, they belonged to the Soranzo family who built the palace in the 10th century. Then the building passed to other noble owners, the Capello and the Malipiero families, who re-built their home to make it look like we know it today. Today, the palace is owned by the Barnabò family. The gardens were created in the 17th and 18th centuries in a baroque formal style, with flower beds modulated by low box plants.

The garden lately underwent changes as it’s always the owner’s choice to add or cut flowers and embellish it with low shrubbery and flowering plants, like the lilies just coming into bloom. You can see the different shades of green with fitting wrought iron tables and chairs, all painted pale green. White gravel paths lead from one flower bed to another and finally to the water’s edge. What a treat to rest here amidst blackbirds singing, enjoying the soft sun rays of spring. But … we are  taking pictures all the time, Venice and gardens mean heaven, not just for us photographers.

The emerald green of the garden is reflected on the waters of the Grand Canal, bright blue and red striped bricole (poles) stand out against the turquoise water. Roses just start blossoming and the flower beds are covered with fluffy young grass nourished by abundant spring rainfall. Now and then, the green is interrupted by a group of rose bushes surrounded by low-cut lavender plants.

What I personally loved most was the explosion of white spring flowers against a sunny wall. Illuminated by the morning sun, we were taken in by fragrant white lilac and a mass of lilies-of-the-valley. There’s a mimosa tree growing just beside them, looking already slightly yellow as it always does after flowering (it flowers in March).


At the far end of the garden, wrought iron chairs and tables and comfortable deck chairs looked very inviting. We could have stayed here all day, no doubt about that. Now it’s time to leave, we’re on our way to see three more garden jewels of Venice.

Take a look at the complete photo stream of the #FourGardensOneCommunity Meeting here.

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