Un giardino torna alla città: Saving a Venetian garden jewel

A rather sizable garden, part of Piazza San Marco – easily within reach on a drawbridge spanning a narrow canal? The Giardinetti Reali were laid out in 1811 under French rule, after the wheat storage buildings of the Republic of Venice had been torn down. They hadn’t been touched since then.

Garden impressions 2: Winter with traces of Acqua Alta Torino-based entrepreneur Adele Re Rebaudengo, who partly lives in Venice, with a history of working out projects for the Biennale Gardens, has been an admirer of these gardens next to the Pizza for years. Finally, she has forwarded the idea of setting the Venice Gardens Foundation. The gardens have started looking more neglected over the years, while some decades ago, they even hosted a well-kept pergola (pergolato) and even giostrine (carousels).

As far as I can rememeber back, in the 1980s and 1990s, there were fine oleander bushes lining the canal which runs along the gardens, these big plants framing in the typical red wooden benches you find in Venetian gardens< According to an article published in the Venetian daily Il Gazzettino, two years ago, an analysis of the state of these gardens had been started, and a first draft of the project finalized. This includes of course that a fine range of plants will return to the gardens. At the same time, Palazzina Santo o Selva, after its 18-month restoration, shall be turned into a coffee house. It actually had been one of the historical coffee houses in its time …

The proceeds from this coffeehouse shall be used to pay for the maintenance of the gardens in the future. In case money is left over, other green zones in town will benefit. Also, a “Scientific Committee” will be created with the task of re-connecting the Gardens to the Palazzo Reale and thus to Piazza San Marco, via the Ponte Levatoio – the drawbridge spanning the canal that separates the gardens from the Procuratie Nuove buildings (see plan above).

Garden Impressions 4: The Pergola now during winter – it has been closed to the public for a few years In the next two months, the project shall be finalized, so works should start in the second half of 2015, to be finished in time for the Biennale in 2017. To be continued as soon as news comes in 🙂

Garden impressions 5: This is where the Ponte Levatoio (drawbridge) should be connecting the gardens to the ground floor of the Procuratie Nuove building (you can see the door).

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3 Comments

  1. Lovely! How nice to see someone contributing to the fabric of the city. I hope to be in Venice next year and will certainly visit. (I'm originally from Trieste, but live in Sydney, Australia). PS – always enjoy your blog posts.

  2. Dear Ambra, I am also glad that finally there is this initiative to restore the gardens – will keep you posted here 🙂 Thank you so much for following my blog !! Hope you will be able to visit Venice next year – in 2016, these gardens should be ready for visitors 🙂

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