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Spring is bursting out all over

creato da M. Carla Glotier ultima modifica 20/06/2008 15:10

As the evenings begin to stretch and we shed our winter layers what better way to herald the arrival of Spring than an afternoon in one of Italy's ornamental gardens. Here are three to whet your appetite . . .

Villa Novare Bertani in VenetoVilla Novare Bertani in Veneto
In Novare, near Arbizzano, a stone's throw from Lake Garda and right in the heart of Valpolicella country, there's a wonderful villa from the 1700s. Just the place to spend a relaxing afternoon walking on its well-tended lawns, dozing under the centuries-old cypresses or lazing around its magnificent garden and lake. The house, which is hidden by vines, is home to the prestigious Bertani Winery and you can visit the cellars and admire the 140-year-old wine barrels.

Villa Novare Bertani is open all year round from Monday to Saturday, except during August and the Christmas holidays. You need to book your visit in advance. Opening hours: 8:30 - 12:30 and 15:00 - 18:00. Entrance: 8 Euro for the Villa and Garden, 21 Euro for Villa, Garden and wine tasting in the Bertani Cellars. Tel: +39-045-6011211 - Fax: +39-045-6011222

Palazzo Patrizi in Lazio
This time we move south to Castel Giuliano, close to Bracciano (Rome). Palazzo Patrizi lies in the shade of the Tolfa mountains and belongs to the Patrizi family since the 1500s. The gardens are a spectacular mixture of nature gone wild and refined elegance. A hotchpotch of flowered hedgerows which burst into life between pines, oaks and Lebanese cedars. Explore the undergrowth to find Etruscan remains covered by ferns and lichens.

You can get a guided tour of Palazzo Patrizi by appointment only (tel: +39-06-9987399 - Fax: +39-06-99802530). Entrance: 9 Euro. After your visit you can replenish yourself at the "Chalet del lago", in Via Reginaldo Belloni, in Anguillara Sabazia. Specialities include fish from the lake and pasta with vegetables. Expect to pay around15 Euro per person.

Biviere in Sicily
We continue our journey south to Lentini, in the province of Syracuse in Sicily. Palermo's Archives Office still has the original decree from 1392 in which King Martin handed over the "Lentini Biviere " to one of the current owner's - Don Scipione Borghese's - ancestors. Jasmine fills the air as soon as you go into the ornamental gardens with their exotic palms and jacarandas while a magnificent grass tree lies in prayer before San Andrea's chapel.

Guided tours on appointment only (tel: +39-095-7831449 - fax: +39-095-7835575. Entrance: 5.16 Euro. After your trip you won't regret a visit to "Don Camillo", a nearby restaurant in Via Maestranza 92/100, Syracuse.

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