Two generations of the family created a surprising garden with substantial English-style plantings against the background of a sheltering escarpment. The family planted trees and shrubs that have grown hugely in such favourable conditions.
As seemed to be the case at several sites we visited, the new entrance (into a wild area of ruined church buildings and occasional modern plantings) gives a very different impression upon arrival to that originally intended. From the decaying ruins visitors move onto paths, lawns, tree plantings, a large herbaceous border, a lavender-lined path and much, much more. Everywhere were roses. Around one corner was a grove of bananas beneath a soaring stone pine; elsewhere a small bamboo jungle. Water features are everywhere: channels, ponds, even a water channel constructed to flow above another water channel. Is this perhaps a 20th century interpretation of Mannerism? Some loved this; others had reservations about elements of the style, some of the plantings or the current approach to maintenance in some areas.
At the end of the tour we were fortunate to be invited to view a normally private walled garden area with a citrus orchard and some more traditionally modern Italian garden features close to the family home.
Lunch was then enjoyed outdoors at a restaurant in the delightful hillside village of Sermoneta. Our later morning start precluded spending time to fully appreciate the village itself and we left for our afternoon visit to nearby Villa Torrecchia where an enthusiastic and very knowledgeable young guide welcomed us.