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Photographer's Note

The magnificent gardens of Villa Lante are perhaps one of the most pristinely preserved examples of Renaissance landscapes in existence today.

The lush and vibrant locale is best described as a water garden, not just by definition but by sheer elemental subtext. Gurgling fountains, novel irrigations, and impressive pieces of water-based design populate the gardens, with the crown jewel being the massive stone table in the centre of the garden, steeped in history.

That history stretches back to 1564, when Jacopo Barozzi da Vignola designed and began construction on the site, but died before the gardens were complete. Not until 1587 were they completed by Cardinal Alessandro Montalto.

The design of the gardens is as unique as their history – they step down in terraces, all connected by fountains that flow into one another. But these fountains are not the gaudy displays of rushing water spraying through the air associated with modern fountains. Instead, the sights and sounds of peaceful trickling inhabit the entire area, from top to bottom.
The gardens are defined by a combination of breathtaking architecture and pleasant open spaces. But the massive stone dining table has remained the most impressive and attractive part of the garden for centuries.

A trough of water runs through the centre of the table, meant to chill wine for the Cardinal and his guests, and it's a feature that seems inspiring and novel even to this day. Century after century, events were set against these lavish gardens and dinner parties enjoyed conversation surrounded by torchlight and water, right there at the stone table.

In 1944 the gardens and casini were heavily damaged by Allied bombing after the fall of Rome. In the late 20th century the Villa was acquired by Dr. Angelo Cantoni, who completed a long program of restoration. It is now part of the Grandi Giardini Italiani.

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This photograph is copyright of Rosemary Walden - © Rosemary Walden 2014. All rights reserved. Any redistribution or reproduction of the image in any form is prohibited. You may not, except with my express written permission, copy, reproduce, download, distribute or exploit the content. Nor may you transmit it or store it in any other website or other form of electronic retrieval system

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Additional Photos by Rosemary Walden (SnapRJW) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2768 W: 81 N: 6777] (30677)
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