Parco Giardino Sigurta’, in northern Italy, is a fabulous garden most noted for Tulipmania, a fantastic display of more than one million tulips, the largest in southern Europe. In addition to tulips, other top sights are its Avenue of Roses with 30,000 rose bushes, 18 water gardens, a labyrinth made of 1500 yew trees, and panoramic views. Sigurta’ Garden has won several awards and it’s definitely one of my favorite gardens to visit in Italy.
What to See in Parco Giardino Sigurta’
Sigurta’ is a huge park of grassy lawns, rolling hills, and woods. Within the park are a number of gardens with plantings staggered so that there are always flowers in bloom, bathing the park in color throughout its open period, early March through early November.
First to bloom are crocuses and narcissus, followed by the tulips, usually in bloom from mid-March through mid-April. Next are thousands of irises, many with unique colors, starting in late April and continuing through May. The Avenue of Roses fills with blooms from May through September. A large variety of annuals, water lilies, lotus flowers, and Canna lilies round out the summer season, with some annuals continuing to bloom through October. Fall highlights are begonias, hibiscus, asters, and 30 varieties of dahlias. A small medicinal herb garden has 40 different plants.
Interesting sights are scattered throughout the park including lakes and water gardens with water plants, koi, and flower displays. On the hill is the labyrinth with a tower in the center from where you’ll have a great view of the park. From the hill you can also see the castle in the little town of Valeggio sul Mincio. On the opposite side of the water garden is a panoramic walkway with views of the river below and the little town of Borghetto sul Mincio, one of the borghi piu belli d’italia or most beautiful villages of Italy. Another view spot is the Romeo and Juliet Belvedere where there’s a big sundial.
The Castelletto, with its Neogothic-style windows, was originally a house of arms but later was a popular meeting place for scientists and writers, including several Nobel Prize winners. The charming Hermitage is a Gothic-style temple dating from 1792.
Visiting Sigurta’ Garden and Park
Parco Giardino Sigurtà is in Valeggio sul Mincio, a small town along the Mincio River that’s worth a visit itself. It’s on the western edge of the Veneto region. We spent two pleasant nights at B&B Ombretta, right in Valeggio sul Mincio, where there are several good restaurants, and within walking distance of the park.
Parco Giardino Sigurtà is normally open daily from the first Sunday of March through the first Sunday of November, from 9AM to 7PM (closes at 6PM in March, October, and November. Special events are scheduled throughout the season. Check current prices, hours, and events on Parco Giardino Sigurta’.
Sigurta’ is about 15-minute drive south of Peschiera del Garda, on Lake Garda. Take bus number 46 from Peschiera del Garda toward Mantua (there’s also a bus from Sirmione and Desenzano on Lake Garda or from Mantua). It’s about 30 kilometers from the city of Verona and can be reached by bus number 160. If you arrive by car, park in town and walk to the garden.
A 45 kilometer bike path runs between Peschiera del Garda and Mantua so it’s easy to arrive by bike, too. A bike is a good way to explore the park on its 6 kilometer path. Bicycles can be rented at points along the bike trail or by the garden entrance. There’s no extra charge to bring in a bike and there’s a charging station for electric bikes.
Besides walking and biking, other ways to get around the park are aboard the panoramic train for a ride along the Enchanted Way that takes in the garden’s highlights, on the smaller electric shuttle that gives a more extensive guided tour including the garden’s history and special features, or renting an electric golf cart to explore the park independently with a GPS guide.
Allow at least 3 hours for your visit, but you can stay as long as you’d like or wander into town and back (get your hand stamped to return). Snack bars and restrooms are found in several locations and you can bring their own picnic. Sigurtà Restaurant is a short walk from the park.