LivingTravelHanbury Botanical Gardens | Giardini Botanici Hanbury

Hanbury Botanical Gardens | Giardini Botanici Hanbury

It was 1867 when Sir Thomas Hanbury passed through the little cape called Mortola between Menton, France and Ventimiglia, Italy, near the Côte d’Azur, and immediately felt compelled to build a huge garden on the slopes from the little winding road down. Sea.

Liguria is notable for its sunshine and greenhouses. It is a favorite place for growing flowers.

Thus, one of the most remarkable botanical gardens in Italy was born. By 1912, 5,800 species were represented.

The gardens were destroyed in WWII, but after passing into the hands of the Italian state, then the University of Genoa, the gardens were reborn.

A visit to the walk through the garden paths, while strenuous, is quite rewarding today.

How to get to Hanbury Gardens

Hanbury Gardens is reached by traveling on the SS1, called Corso Montecarlo, until you reach number 42 in Mortola Inferiore, where you will find a small entrance portal with an arch on the left side of the road if you are coming from Ventimiglia. There are no big signs to tell you that you have arrived. There are no large parking lots to put your car in. You may have to get creative in the parking lot. This is italy.Everyone park kinda funny.

Here’s a link to a Google map of Hanbury Gardens.

What to expect on your visit to the garden

Once you find the entrance, you will pay a fee to visit. Make sure they give you a map. Although it is unlikely that you will get lost, you may have to choose what you see because there is a lot of garden spread out on the wide slope. Suggested itineraries, red up and blue down, are marked on the map. All you have to do to find your way out is to go up any path; you will eventually see the gate because all roads lead there.

The trails wind through 45 acres of plants, buildings, fountains, statues, and finally to the Villa. In the background near the sea there is a small cafeteria where you can have lunch or refresh yourself with a drink. The difference in height from top to bottom is 100 meters.

You can’t visit the inside of Hanbury Villa, but you can wander outside and see the 1764 Japanese bell or Marco Polo’s mosaic.

Some Roman road along the coast is also present on the grounds. Although it is commonly called the Via Aurelia, it is actually the Via Julia Augusta, a path that began in 13 BC. C. by Augusto who went from Arles to Ventemiglia.

Make no mistake, the promotion is not for the faint of heart. The official website mentions that people with mobility disabilities can reserve an electric cart (electric car suitable for transport ).

Botanical Gardens in Europe

Hanbury Gardens was not the first botanical garden in Europe. That honor belongs to the Botanical Garden of Padua that began in 1545, the oldest in Europe and now a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Le Jardin exotique , the exotic garden of Eze, France, takes advantage of a similar setting along the Côte d’Azur. It’s a short drive across the French border, then a walk to the ruined castle at the top of Eze’s old town.

Hanbury Gardens, the bottom line

Pick a good day to stroll like we did and you’ll have a great time exploring the gardens. Go early, before the tour buses arrive, and if you are lucky enough to travel out of season, you will have the gardens practically to yourself.

Don’t worry if your tour runs past lunchtime, the little cafe by the water serves good-looking sandwiches.

If you are traveling with curious children who are active and don’t mind climbing a bit, then the gardens should offer them a reasonably interesting experience.

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