Ninfa, a Beautiful Garden Amidst Roman Ruins
The garden, set in a small agricultural town founded by the Romans, is called Garden of Ninfa because historically it was the site of a roman temple dedicated to the ninfas (nymphs) on a tiny river island not far from the property.
Nymphs are mythological figures, connected to natural forces, water, wind, soil, and were often invoked by travelers who would cite a blessing to get permission to touch nature and gather valuable resources from a particular place.
The garden you would visit today has greatly changed throughout history, what makes this place so special is its location, which allows a great variety of plants to thrive (native species and not) and the presence of natural resources like water streams and fertile soil.
The garden is one of the most successful English Gardens. An English Garden is a style of landscape that emerged in England in the early 18th Century. Its central idea is an idealized view of nature drawing inspirations from paintings. It often includes bodies of water, sweeps of rolling lawns set against trees, and classical architectural elements, such as old ruins or Greek and Romans temples. Generally speaking, English Gardens are a very well done juxtaposition of a manicured naturalistic landscape set against ruined or ancient architecture. They never reveal themselves at once, they need to be walked through and discovered.
In this sense, the Garden of Ninfa is the epitomy of an English Garden.
At the beginning of 1921, the owner Gelasio Caetani decided to restore the architectural structures of the town and to have an English Garden planted all around it.
The garden has been called the world’s most romantic garden. It is near a WWF preserved natural area.
It boasts a unique setting made out of the medieval ruins. The site itself possesses a natural grace, it seems like time has stopped there. There are over a thousand variety of plants and trees, keeping the garden interesting throughout all four seasons. An effortless beauty withstanding since roman times.
The Garden of Ninfa is open to visitors from April through November.