Time Out to Relax in the Giardini Guisti
It has been a busy few days on our trip to Verona. We needed one day to recover from two late nights at the Verona Arena and a busy day trip to Venice for the Regatta . Having quickly discounted using the HopOnHopOff (HoHo) bus since we had seen so many of the tourist spots in Verona on our last visit, we walked the few short blocks from our B&B to the Giardini Guisti and paid our 7€ admission price.
While the original palazzo is not open, the entrance way still includes a well restored fresco and an interesting old wooden light. The main draw is the traditional Italian Renaissance style gardens (originally designed in the 16th century and transformed to an English style garden in the 19th century).
The gardens on the lower level are laid out in maze-like patterns of hedges with soaring cypresses and numerous fountains or statues in key locations.
One fountain was the home to a group of small turtles swimming around or burrowed into the soft silt.
The gardens on the lower level were nice and a calm, cool place for a break but I was not sure this was worth the price of admission. Wandering to the back we found a small set of stairs and a gentle path that seemed to wind up the hill behind the garden. This might prove more interesting!
As we climbed higher we came to multiple small benches for resting and looking at the view out across Verona. Finding a small stone building, we quickly discovered this was purely an enclosed spiral staircase going further up.
Billy Goat Linda kept going up, rewarded by yet another garden and multiple viewpoints. We sat and soaked up the sun, snapping pics in all directions. This would be a great spot to bring a picnic!
As we wandered down, we found several old nooks and crannies into the rock that were clearly old worship areas.
Retracing our steps back to the entrance we found that there was also a small section with headstones – probably for the original Gusti family.
Looking back and up along the centre aisle as we were leaving we saw an interesting sight. At the highest point of the garden is an oversized mask sculpture – the “Maskeron” – looking down over all visitors.
It turns out that the gardens are a stop on the HoHo bus, but since the gardens were around the corner from our B&B, we didn’t need the bus. But if you are staying in the main part of Verona, the HoHo bus will negate the need to cross the river and climb the gentle hill to the garden entrance. The local Verona buses also run along the street in front of the garden. While on this side of the river, it is a short walk to the Theatro Romano site. The gardens are also included in the Verona Card, which we also did not get this time since we had visited many of the sights in Verona on a previous trip. But at 7€ this will not break the bank to visit.
If you want a relaxing few hours and some great views of Verona, don’t miss Giardini Guisti!
Did you find Giardini Guisti to be a quiet oasis on your visit to Verona? Would you recommend it?