I love gardens and whenever I have the possibility to see one, I go. When we were in Ischia we couldn’t miss the Giardini La Mortella.
I know the gardens from when they opened in 1992. Since then I have been there numerous times but the last time maybe more than 10 years ago. I was very excited to visit the tropical garden again and explore the differences to my last visit.
La Mortella means ‘the myrtles’. It’s a private garden which was originally created by Susana Walton in 1956 when they decided to live here permanently. She was the wife of the English composer William Walton and lived here until her death in 2010.
It is located on the top of the San Francesco bay and includes also a museum of the composers life and work. In the Greek theater Italian and foreign schools of music perform more than 70 times a year. In 2004 it was awarded with the first prize as the most beautiful garden in Italy.
The garden was designed by the famous landscape architect Russell Page already in the fifties. It never stopped developing since then.
Numerous fountains and pools are integrated in the outcrops of volcanic rocks. Water plants, tropical and exotic plants from all over the world can be found here, living in a harmonious environment.
There are the lower gardens in a shady and ‘refreshing’ valley. The upper gardens are more sunny and display Mediterranean plants. But here you have also the most beautiful view on Forio, the Soccorso church and the watch-tower.
Glasshouses and pavilions complete the garden aspect. You sit in the shade of the Thai tea house in the silence of the lotus flower pond. Or you have your 5 o’clock tea in the tea house. You can admire the most beautiful orchids in the tropical greenhouse and listen to the voices of the parrots in the aviary.
Impressive is the huge water lily victoria amazonica. Unfortunately a photo here is nearly impossible due to the light situation.
The admission price of 12 € per person was spent more than well. We were there about 3 hours in the garden, sitting at the crocodile cascade and at the various ponds, listening to the birds in the bird house and wandering around in the shade of huge tropical trees.
There is a parking place coming from Lacco Ameno, the upper entrance (which for me is new as I knew only the lower entrance). In June and July there are concerts in the Greek theater, in spring and fall every weekend in the recital hall. I unfortunately never have been to any of these.
Giardini La Mortella, Forio d’Ischia, Campania/Italy:
For further information:
Giardini La Mortella
Via Francersco Calise Operaio Forio, 45
80075 Forio d’Ischia/NA
Opening hours: 9 am to 7 pm
For a perfect hotel to visit Ischia I recommend Villa Melodie