Verona never gets tired: second half in the lesser-known places of the city

Giardino Giusti in Verona

In this scorching summer, I had the pleasure of visiting the splendid city of Verona not once, but twice, focusing my latest visit on two specific places, less famous than Juliet’s beloved balcony, which is besieged by mass tourism.

Despite the temperatures touching 40°C, I had the opportunity to immerse myself, particularly in these two destinations:

  • Giusti Garden and its fascinating Palace
  • Palazzo Maffei Museum House

The Giusti Garden

Located in the university area, outside the historic heart and in the Veronetta district, the Giusti Garden is an authentic green gem. 

The entrance

How to get to the Giusti Garden: practical guide

Clicking on the link of the official website, you will find all the ways to access the garden.

There aren’t many free parking spaces nearby, or at least I didn’t find any! The important thing is not to enter the historic centre ZTL (limited traffic zone) with your car.

The ticket office is very small, and the welcome is a bit “cool,” reminding you that you’re a tourist like the others. To extract information, you have to ask the questions yourself.

You can download the free app that I found very useful for accessing information. The only flaw: you can’t take photos while listening to the audio guide. 

The three reasons to visit Giusti Garden

Putting aside my personal opinions, it’s undeniable that Giusti Garden represents an unmissable stop, full of charm. Here are three fundamental reasons to include it in your itinerary:

  • Classic Italian garden. The garden preserves all the characteristic elements of 16th-century gardens: citrus-filled vases, boxwood mazes, mythological statues, fountains, caves, masks, and panoramic viewpoints.
  • Panorama of the entire city. Climbing up a small tower, you can admire the entire Verona from above, along with its bell towers.
  • Family history. The connection between the Giusti family and the city of Verona began long before the creation of the Garden. Originally from Tuscany, they moved to Verona in the late 1200s, where they continued their dyeing and wool trading activities. They became so prosperous that they acquired the palace and the garden in the 1400s. Initially planned for productive activities, only in the 1500s were the garden and palace converted to accommodate illustrious visitors over the centuries. They still remain the property of the Giusti family today.

The 16th-century garden in detail

We can divide the Giusti Garden into three areas: a plain section, a wooded area, and a belvedere.

The plain garden

The elegance and precision of the plain garden 

The plain garden is divided into nine Italian-style quadrants, with symmetrical sections adorned with boxwood hedges and mythological statues of Diana, Venus, Atlas, Apollo, and Adonis. The main axis is the cypress path that leads to the grotto and the mask fountain. Keeping your back to the entrance, on the right, you will find the labyrinth redesigned by Luigi Trezza in 1786, still navigable today. On the left is the French-style parterre with Greek gods, the citrus garden that was once a significant source of income with markets reaching as far as Russia, and the so-called “vaseria” where plants in their pots are overwintered. This section of the garden, with its squared and strict layout, evokes the architectural intervention of humans, as well as order and symmetry.

The labyrinth
The vaseria

The magic beauty of the wooded area 

The wooded section of the garden is designed to amaze visitors as they cross the shadowed torturous paths. The rock, the grotto, and the interplay of shadows and light are created to inspire astonishment and wonder. This part of the garden, known as the “sacred forest,” is composed of laurel and yew trees, and an underwood of evergreens. 

The thrill of the Belvedere

A secret staircase within a small tower carved into the rock leads to the upper part of the garden, where a small pavilion. It was constructed using columns from the 14th century and features a mask attributed to Bartolomeo Ridolfi. It is designed to emit flames from its mouth, serving to astound visitors.

The Pavilion
The panorama from the Belvedere area

Moreover, this green oasis regularly offers special events and guided tours, from cultural evenings under the stars to artistic performances, making the visit to Giusti Garden even more unique.

Discover the Palazzo Maffei Museum House in the next article, to complete the tour of Verona.

All the information about the place was extracted from the app, the garden website and the institutional brochures.

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