Villa Lante is in Bagnaia which is a fairly small town. We arrived a little early for the garden so we went for a coffee in a local cafe. This resulted in some excited discussions about Leicester City (who, for those who have been living in a bucket) had just at that point won the Premier League. Their manager Claudio Ranieri is Italian and from the environs of Rome so it was big news there as well as for our group of Leicester tourists. Here I must add a caveat: I am not a Leicester City supporter, but most of the people I was with seemed to be and the 'we're from Leicester' resulted in us being serenaded by one of the locals. It was all a bit magical.
Anyhoo, to the garden, which was a pleasant wander up from the town square.
The gardens are dominated by topiary and water.
here. I am not going to take you on a factual tour, but one more of what I liked and how I felt about it.
I think this was my favourite wall painting which is in one of the lower buildings closer to the topiary garden.
This is a 'great' garden, built on great scale with great wealth. You look at it and cannot help but be in awe. It did not, for me, feel like a garden to particularly enjoy though. I almost cannot explain this but it felt so formal, so staged that I could not really imagine where I would sit for a cup of tea when the day is over and I want to ponder things. Maybe we just did not see it as it was a tour, but I did not get a feeling of a private space where the owner would sit in their gardening trousers and just unwind. It felt like life is always on show, always on duty. Maybe it was and therein lies probably my feelings for this garden, it did not feel happy.
We then returned to the cafe for one of the best meals I think I had whilst in Italy, very simple pasta and porcini mushrooms and a jug of fizzy white wine followed by tiramisu, I was in heaven.
Part 1 - Rome
Part 2 - Villa Adriana
Part 4 - Villa Farnese
Part 5 - Villa D'Este
Part 6 -Ninfa
Part 7 - Finiti