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Sunday, April 27, 2014

Gardens: La Settimana Del Tulipano At Villa Taranto




I can FINALLY cross this off my must-see list. On the national Italian holiday, Liberation Day, April 25, we visited Villa Taranto to see the tulips in bloom during Tulip Week, la Settimana del Tulipano. 

 

We caught this spectacle at the end of its run (this year Tulip Week was the two weeks from April 13 to 27), when the azaleas and some types of rhododendrons were also in full bloom. But the stars, of course, are the 80,000 tulip bulbs. They are scattered in beds throughout the gardens, but the highlight is the Tulip Maze, which alone exhibits 65 different varieties of tulips. After the tulips have bloomed, this same maze becomes the location for the six-foot-tall dahlias that take the spotlight in the autumn. 

All the tulips were labeled with their names, but unfortunately I didn't have time to make note of them. We were there late in the afternoon, toward closing time, and as I was with two men I was also concerned for their tulip tolerance, which, it turns out, was fairly high. I also wanted to leave us enough time for a beer in the tranquil beer garden near the entrance, before the garden closed at 6:30 and we headed to nearby Suna for aperitivo and dinner.

 
(   Continued   ...   )












Even during Tulip Week, no visit to Taranto is complete without a walk up to the Terraced Gardens, where the large blocks of annual flower beds change color throughout the season. This is how they looked during this visit:


Walking down the winding road from the Terraced Gardens, there is at one turn a dramatic view of Intra, Verbania. As mentioned at the bottom of this article, it is easy to reach Intra on foot from Taranto, and could be a part of your plan.


Villa Taranto English website

Want to see a bit of what Taranto looks like at other times of the summer? Here are other times I've visited and posted about it:

In late September: Villa Taranto

And just because no collection of photos from Villa Taranto is ever complete without a shot of the adorable little fisherman statue....

Idea: As you know, Villa Taranto is easy to reach by ferry from Stresa -- it drops you directly in front of the gates. From (or to) Taranto however, you do have some other options you may want to consider. Leaving the big Taranto gates, if you turn left you can easily walk into the Intra part of Verbania in about 10 to 15 minutes. Leaving Taranto and walking to the right puts you on a lovely scenic road, half closed to traffic, so one lane is only for pedestrians. In about 20 minutes you'll arrive in the Pallanza part of Verbania, with its charming waterfront. From both of these locations you can also take the ferry to and from Stresa. As Villa Taranto needs about one to two hours to cover, you may want to combine your trip with one of these walks and a meal in one of those towns. That makes for a lovely day.


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