8th Annual Spring Giardinity

People walking through a field of tulips and wild flowers.

The Bulbs of Evelina van Millingen Pisani

23 March to 25 April 2023, open every day, all day from 9am to 7pm.

For a month, Villa Pisani Bolognesi Scalabrin, the Doge Pisani’s villa located south of Padua – one of the most interesting Palladian residences in the world – for the eighth annual spring Giardinity offers, in the huge lawn at the centre of Evelina’s romantic park, a spectacular flowering of thousands of tulips, early and late, feathered, fringed and smooth, of the most diverse colours and heights.

They come from Holland, from the prestigious company Fred de Meulder Export B.V.

Fifty thousand new bulbs of all varieties

Fifty thousand new bulbs, chosen from the best catalogue on the market, are planted each spring, strictly by hand, and the resulting effect is a colourful impressionist painting:

We do not like strips of tulips planted by machine, as seen everywhere, regular, all of the same height, or the same species, or the same colour: we plant them ourselves, one after the other, after a mixture of heights, species and colours, skilfully matched.

Mariella Bolognesi Scalabrin, owner of the eponymous villa

So far, in all the years Giardinity has been held, 400,000 have been planted, all of them among the simple, tender wild flowers and spring grass.

Like an impressionist painting

It is an exciting spectacle, a loving gift from nature: fifty thousand promises of blossom. My tulips will bloom amidst the poppies and dandelions, the buttercups and camomile.

explains Mariella, who for eight years now has conceived Giardinity, the green exhibition dedicated precisely to the garden of Villa Pisani Bolgonesi Scalabrin, which this year runs from 23 March to 25 April.

The tulips of Villa Pisani Bolognesi Scalabrin are also appreciated by King Charles III of England, who was able to admire them in the English magazine Gardens Illustrated when he dedicated space to the original Vescovana event, an explosion of vivacity.

I started eight years ago by planting 50 thousand bulbs, to give continuity to a tradition started by Countess Evelina van Millingen, the last Countess Pisani, who lived in the villa before me. This extraordinary peacock-tailed garden, she of Turkish origin, called it ‘The Paradise of Delights’, as taught by Islamic culture for which the tulip is the flower that gives thanks to God. Here, for me too, it is a prayer and a hymn to nature.

Mariella Bolognesi Scalabrin

A 16th-century villa and its tulips, which Evelina van Millingen called ‘My Children’.

Vescovana spreads across an immense territory, a plain of cultivated fields, a sea of fertile land.

Here, in the 19th century, lived Countess Pisani, Evelina van Millingen, born in Constantinople to a French Turkish mother and a Flemish English father.

The noble and cultured lady gave the 16th century villa the name of the Doge’s Villa and created an extraordinary garden around it where her culture found a place in various creative expressions. Thus there is the spectacular Italian garden, a fascinating Islamic garden, the enclosed flower garden and the romantic park.

To this plant world and fantasy paradise of hers, Evelina gave the name Gromboolia, in honour of the imaginary kingdom created by the English writer and illustrator Edward Lear. The garden is rich in flowers and the park has species of trees that reach for the sky.

Evelina loved the wild flowers of the forest and meadow: daisies, violets, cyclamens and planted roses of all species. But she loved tulips so much that she called them ‘my babies’. The tulip, the flower of Allah, reminded her of her life, her Turkish and Flemish culture.

She ordered them in Holland and in spring Evelina’s garden was a blossom of wonderment.

The fairytale continues with giardinity

Giardinity is a dedication to Countess Evelina, a tribute and homage that is renewed with the arrival of each spring.

The visit to the event includes, of course, free walks in the garden and park with the majestic trees: an extraordinary journey of the spirit and knowledge because:

If a dense forest of ancient and overgrown trees is offered to your gaze, blocking the view of the sky with the density of the branches that spread out, covering each other, that forest so high and the solitude of the place and the wonder produced by the shadow so thick and continuous will induce you to believe in the presence of a divinity.

as Seneca wrote in Letters to Lucilius

Every weekend

For adults
Guided tours (possible by appointment on 336 496470 or info@villapisani.it)

Hours:
Morning – from 10 til 12
Afternoon – from 15 til 18

For children
At the same times – Workshops and games

Tickets

  • Adults – € 10 per person
  • Children up to 5 years and disabled persons – free of charge – 6 to 10 years € 5.00
  • Adults over 65 years – € 6
  • Family group (2 parents + 2 children) – € 25
  • Soci Touring Club – FAI – ADSI – Associazione Ville Venete – Camper Life – € 8

Every weekend there is an in-house bar and refreshment service.

The cost of the entrance ticket still allows visitors to organise their own picnic in the park.

Where: at Villa Pisani Bolognesi Scalabrin – via Roma, 25 – 35040 -Vescovana – Padova
Contact: Telephone 0425 154 7191 – 336 496470 – info@villapisani.it
Directions: from A13 BO-PD : Boara exit.
Press Office: Villa Pisani Bolognesi Scalabrin.

The Villa: Commissioned from architect Andrea Palladio by Cardinal Francesco Pisani in 1500, the Villa stands on the vast plain south of Padua, where the family owned thousands of fields.

The rooms are frescoed by the most important painters of the 16th century such as Paolo Veronese, Gian Battista Zelotti and Dario Varotari.

It was in 1800 that Countess Evelina van Millingen, wife of Almorò Pisani, created the garden, which can be defined as eclectic, because the influences inspired by the noble lady’s cosmopolitan culture coexist in admirable harmony. And this is the garden that can be admired today.

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