La Selva, a park born from the dream of a prince

La Selva is a forested bird park in Paliano, about 30 kilometers south of Rome, that has an amazing story which suddenly came back alive a few days ago during the opening of a ‘holy door’ in nature. The opportunity to celebrate a Holy Year in a green environment had attracted a lot of public … Continued

Ninfa Gardens: Medieval Kaleidoscope Park

Ninfa gardens, encompass the pristine Ninfa river that springs into the garden from the heart of the mountains, mountains on which the town of Norma is encamped. Ninfa gardens are a relatively new life form, commenced just 95 years ago by the Caetani family on their land that stretched throughout the territory of Sermoneta. Ninfa … Continued

Conserving Nature – looking at the big picture saves species

Conserving nature is a great and worthwhile challenge. Yet, targeting threats alone won’t save our wildlife. Too often, governments and conservation organisations have only one goal for restoring populations of declining species: to reduce what they perceive as the main ‘threat’. However, this focus on ‘threat hotspots’ by nations and international conservation bodies can be … Continued

Bomarzo, the World’s Oldest Theme Park?

What do St Peter’s Basilica, Villa D’Este in Tivoli, and Bomarzo Sacred Wood have in common? Each was completed by the architect Pirro Ligorio. This famous figure, following in the steps of Michelangelo, adopted the ‘Mannerist’ approach of elongated proportions, highly stylized poses, and in some cases a lack of clear perspective. In about 1547, … Continued

Flower of Florence – Iris Gardens in May

The tall bearded iris has been the native flower of Tuscany for millenia and the formal Floral Symbol of Florence for 900 years (even though it is sometimes inaccurately referred to as the Fleur-de-lis). Possibly it arrived in Tuscany with Etruscans whose monuments often portrayed the iris. It grew wild throughout the valleys of the … Continued