History and dream


In the antique library at home were hidden some volumes of an unknown author, Cirillo Abrante ... but here is the mystery revealed! it is the anagram of Carlo Albertini, who had chosen to write under this pseudonym.

In 1833 Count Carlo degli Albertini, having inherited the property from his father Alberto (who died in 1829), commissioned the architect Francesco Ronzani, one of the most prestigious designers in Verona at the time, to oversee the transformation of the entire complex.   Carlo degli Albertini, Count of Prato, a man of letters, member of the most prestigious literary circles of the time, such as Vieusseaux in Florence, critic of Petrarch, translator of Racine and works of French theatre (under the pseudonym Cyril Abrante), was a key figure in the design of the park.   Were his travels to England, where the art of designing gardens and parks was undergoing great changes being revolutionized by the new trends that were spreading throughout Europe, which influenced the taste of Count Carlo Albertini, who put into practice, by creating his garden in Garda, the return to nature free from formal constraints (a trend that was widespread among the intellectuals and artists of the time, and was also a symbol of the new ideals of freedom that were affecting Enlightenment Europe). In these times the transformation of the old ‘Brolo’ into a majestic romantic park begun, in full harmony with the fervour of ideas and creative enthusiasm that will characterise Verona and its surroundings with the happy season of nineteenth-century gardens.


The informal park behind the Villa extends to the top of the hill like a scenic backdrop of mainly evergreen trees, framing and highlighting the building in the foreground.The boundary wall surrounding the entire property was decorated with a continuous band of merlons. Several ‘belvedere’ towers were added at the most panoramic points, the highest of which was built on the top of the hill, near the pond, to allow visitors to enjoy the magnificent view of the lake. At the highest point of the park is the pond, the main element of English gardens. Its function was to be a source of reflected light from below, a mirror of the surrounding landscape made up of nature and art, capable of making people participate, amaze and feel with the five senses and take them to another place and time. However, its main function was to be a reservoir of water for irrigation. Fed by a spring and equipped with a system of sluices and dams, it was the expedient for supplying water throughout the park up to the kitchen garden and the basins and fountains that embellish the formal garden. The water was made to flow along stone gutters, which created scenic little waterfalls near the grottoes, to then reach the plain and its irrigation function. The main paths are still easily recognisable as they are bordered by centuries-old cypress trees that remain witness to the original layout. There are still many winding paths that climb the hill, furnished, according to the fashion of the time, with stone benches, steps and small wooden bridges. The designer's intention was to surprise visitors as they wandered through the dense vegetation of the park and lead them to resting places where they could enjoy the "canvas" that nature offers, immersed in the colours, smells and sounds of these peaceful places. To this end, perspective telescopes were created in the most significant places in the park, with the help of plant architecture, to guide the visitor's gaze and viewpoints were built, furnished with benches and stone tables where visitors could enjoy the spectacular vision of the lake. Again, with the intention of astonishing and leading to distant places and times, a number of artefacts were built according to 19th-century canons, forming the framework of an ideal route through the park that unfolded like the story in a book. The union of art and nature, of the artificial and the natural, is the matrix of the conception and creation of every garden, even those that are apparently less architectural, those in which an attempt has been made to recreate nature in its most spontaneous and casual forms. The artefacts in the park are "the most faithful depositories of the designer's desire". Grottoes, pavilions, belvederes, aviaries and greenhouses in various styles and historical moments populated the park to recreate imaginary situations, they were indeed one of the most creative moments of garden art. The garden becomes a paradise of styles, a composition of different sites and different civilisations, a kind of microcosm in which the various parts of the world were gathered. The archetype of the hut, an image of the original dwelling, from which Gothic architecture itself is said to derive, represents the ambiguous moment of transition from nature to architecture, which can take on the most varied and dramatic aspects: huts could be built with deformed vegetation, with twisted tree trunks rooted in the ground or with "rationalised" trunks and branches, almost suggesting pointed archways. The tower is the emerging element in the landscape of the garden, an optical point of arrival, a place of vision, as well as of being seen. Privileged places of vision and contemplation are also the belvederes, the guardhouses and the corner turrets, leaning out towards the landscape to collect the greatest number of views and bring them back inside. The grottoes, covered with travertine and animated by small waterfalls, were built with the intention of taking the visitor into a fairy-tale world but, first and foremost, they were a fundamental part of a complex hydraulic system whose function was to bring water from the small lake on the top of the hill to the areas to be irrigated in the vegetable garden and formal garden adjacent to the villa. The presence of water, an indispensable requisite in an English garden, is in the Park of Villa Albertini skilfully declined in all its forms and functions. It is capable of creating suggestive and continually new effects, responding to the search for tranquillity and contemplation so widespread in Romantic thoughts.


The idea, the desire, if you like, of the owner, Count Pieralberto degli Albertini and his daughters Barbara and Maddalena, is to return the Park of Villa Albertini to the vision of its creator and to offer it, after two centuries, to public enjoyment.

Count Carlo degli Albertini, "garden designer and builder", had in fact his own personal vision of life and of the relationship between man and nature, a personal sensitivity that the Park should not only express but also "fix". A cultural ideal made Place. In recent years, Time and Nature have been the main architects of the transformations that have taken place in the park. Time and Nature have been the main architects of the transformations that have taken place in the park in recent years. While maintaining the romantic charm and 'spirit' of its creator, the park needed an adequate and important conservation intervention, coordinated with methodological rigour, passion and historical memory by Barbara degli Albertini, spiritual heir to the ideals and dreams of her ancestor. "It's not easy, but with a lot of hard work and dedication we are helping the woods to regain its balance". This intervention should not be a mere exercise of a certainly necessary and desirable recovery. A garden can only be a garden only if it is governed, otherwise it is a ruin, a relict or at best a museum piece. It is not a question of preserving a memory, or Memory, but of expressing continuity, as a living organism and as an expression of its "genius loci". Time, research and work, with respect for the historical and cultural importance of the Villa Albertini Park in Garda, trying to convey a message of cultural sustainability based on beauty, respect, good taste and education.