The Italian Garden

The garden of Villa Bettoni

At the centre of a vast park containing olive and citrus fruit groves, crossed by delightful little valleys, abounding in laurel trees and bushes, Villa Bettoni’s garden of delights is made even more unique by the spectacular architecture that harmoniously links it to the Palazzo. This architecture is called ‘Perspective’ and by exploiting perspective effects guides the viewer’s eyes to the summit of a tree-lined avenue where a small temple dedicated to Apollo was supposed to be. 

Of the Bettoni brothers who supervised the renovation on the villa, Carlo, who had supervised most of the works, seemed rather contrary to this project. Most probably, in his capacity as agricultural engineer, he was against sacrificing productive plants for a Perspective architecture (even though it included two lemon groves and various agricultural buildings). His brothers Gian Maria first and Delay later supervised the works directed by the Florentine architect Amerigo Vincenzo Pierallini. Gian Maria lived in Genoa and Delay in Naples, and it was in these cities that were being influenced by the international styles of the time, especially at Court, that the two brothers had developed a taste for the grandeur disliked by Carlo, who at least in the garden believed that the construction should be based solely on natural elements.

The gardens of Villa Bettoni, like the Palazzo, are embellished by statues by Gian Battista Locatelli and have three main fountains fed by water springs inside the park, an artificial cave modelled on similar ones in Genoa, and two magnificent terraces that by crossing the road connect the park to the main structure of the villa, extending out onto the lake.