When you arrive in Valeggio sul Mincio, in the province of Verona, you do so for two simple reasons: to ride the cycle path (which leads to Lake Garda) or to visit this beautiful Sigurtà Garden Park. It is a unique green space in the world, a park near Borghetto sul Mincio, considered one of the most charming and exclusive places in Italy.
Sigurtà Park has already won the award for the most beautiful park in Italy in 2013 and in 2015, it was awarded second place among the most beautiful parks in Europe. Moreover, in 2017, it received European recognition for its expertise in ecological gardening.
Why is Sigurtà Park so special? Let’s discover it starting from its history…
The history of Sigurtà Park
Every year, from March to November, thousands of visitors enter the park to enjoy a paradise-like scenery, filled with avenues of roses, meadows, historic buildings interspersed with water gardens and small lakes, herbal gardens, centuries-old oak trees, and a mysterious labyrinth.
The beauty of Sigurtà Garden Park is rooted in its history, dating all the way back to the 15th century. In 1417, the noble Nicolò Girolamo Contarini built a country villa known as the Domus Magna, surrounded by laborers’ houses. It was, in fact, an agricultural estate with a small garden, which eventually passed to the Guarienti family.
In 1616, this family began expanding the garden, turning it into a perfect place to welcome guests visiting the villa, complete with a tour of the botanical beauties. Later, in 1776, the Maffei family became the owners of the estate and obtained water rights from the nearby River Mincio for irrigation – this opportunity changed the fate of the park.
It was during this time that the park received a visit from the poet Ippolito Pindemonte, the nephew of Marquess Antonio Maffei, who owned the estate at the time. This is when the agricultural area, from a simple small paradise, transformed into a romantic English-style garden with ambitions of becoming what would be the Sigurtà Park of today. Maffei, in the early 19th century, even created a neo-Gothic temple now called the Hermitage, along with other structures like the Grotto and the Castelletto.
However, in 1836, the park changed ownership again, and after several vicissitudes, in 1941, pharmaceutical entrepreneur Carlo Sigurtà decided to purchase the vast land, which had by then fallen into decay. This marked the birth of Sigurtà Park.
He initiated extensive garden renovations, aided by water drawn from the River Mincio. Over time, the grandeur of centuries-old trees and buildings was restored to their former glory. Additionally, he acquired other properties, increasing the size of Sigurtà Park from 22 to 60 hectares.
In 1978, the Sigurtà Garden Park opened to the public, thanks to the initiative of Carlo Sigurtà’s heir, and since then, it has been accessible, as I previously mentioned, for approximately 6 months each year.
Some interesting facts:
- In 1990, the Horizontal Sundial was created, featuring a system designed to ensure its accuracy for at least 26,000 years!
- In 2011, after 6 years of work, the labyrinth was inaugurated, created with 1,500 yew trees that lead visitors along paths, spanning an area of 2,500 square meters.
- In recent years, particular attention has been paid to the blooming of tulips, one of the park’s main attractions. This effort was rewarded in 2016 when the blooming of over one million tulips was judged the “Most Beautiful Flower Display in Italy” by the Parkmania Awards.
Plants and Blooms at Sigurtà Park
Each season brings different colors and shapes to Sigurtà Garden Park.
In spring, hyacinths, daffodils, and crocuses bloom. They are followed by the flowering of tulips: from March to April, 300 different types of tulips adorn the park, along with fritillaries, which, with their unique shape, resemble tulips and create a contrasting display of colors.
Spring continues with the blooming of irises from late April to mid-May: thousands of them color the Avenue of Fountains and Irises. Also, the Avenue of Roses is particularly famous during this season and is perhaps the most beloved area of Sigurtà Park.
In summer, nymphs and lotus flowers bloom in the park’s lakes and ponds, while other areas feature hydrangeas, marigolds, hibiscus flowers, and another summer flower, the Indian shot (Canna Indica).
With their vibrant colors, this flower creates a scenic walk in the park’s highest point. During the summer months, the large trees of Sigurtà Park provide excellent shade from the heat while displaying their intense colors as autumn arrives.
During this season, the most beautiful spectacle is the explosion of colors in the tree leaves. Additionally, from September onwards, begonias, asters (or “Michaelmas daisies”), impatiens, and sunpatiens arrive, lighting up the park with their incredible hues.
It’s worth noting that Sigurtà Park often hosts interesting events, including art and photography exhibitions, yoga sessions, children’s shows, street artist performances, ping pong tournaments, shows, and even cosplay events!
Inside the park, there is also an Educational Farm with donkeys, goats, chickens, turkeys, and ducks. It can be visited during the annual sheep shearing event, a delightful revelation that you can freely participate in.
How to reach Sigurtà Park
igurtà Park is located 2 km from the Mantova-Peschiera del Garda cycle path, for those who want to reach it by bike. By car, the park offers free parking and a charging point for electric cars (Tesla and universal connector vehicles).
To reach it by car, you can exit the A4 Milano-Venezia highway at Peschiera del Garda and then drive for 8 km towards Valeggio sul Mincio.
Alternatively, from the A22 Brenner-Modena highway, take the Nogarole Rocca exit from Modena and follow the signs to Valeggio sul Mincio. If you are coming from the Brenner, take the Affi exit, then the expressway (SS450) to Peschiera del Garda, and follow the signs to Valeggio sul Mincio.
Want to visit it? Here is all the information to enter Sigurtà Garden Park!
Sigurtà Garden Park opens its gates from March to November, during which it is open every day, including holidays, from 9:00 am to 7:00 pm (last entry at 6:00 pm).
In March, October, and November, the park opens from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm, with closure at 6:00 pm. Ticket prices vary by age:
- Adults – € 14,50
- Childs (0-4 anni -) Gratis
- Youth (5-14 anni) – € 7,50
- Over 65 – € 10,50
- 100% Disabled (Free) with Accompanying person – € 10,50
The park can also be explored by train, bicycle (including electric or classic rentals), golf cart, shuttle, and in groups.
For other info please visit: https://www.sigurta.it/