Villa Taranto

this is an excerpt from the book “Lake Maggiore” by Enrico Massetti.

Villa Taranto - Photo © Umby
+ Villa Taranto

One day trip without a car from Milan to Villa Taranto on Lake Maggiore

From Milan you don’t need a car to take this day trip to the wonders of a botanical garden on Lake Maggiore, Villa Taranto: you hop on a train of the “TreNord” train company, and in a short time you are in a magic place of lakes, gardens, and palaces.

This is especially recommended in spring when often you can leave the fog and cold of Milan to reach sun-shining lakefront views in the mild climate of the Lake Maggiore.

Of particular interest is a visit during the azalea blooming season, when Villa Taranto’s gardens assume a fantastic set of different colors from the endless number of azaleas and rhododendrons present in the garden.

Villa Taranto Ninfee
Villa Taranto Ninfee Photo © Sergio De Giovannini.


It was built at the end of the19′” century and was sold to the Scottish captain Neil Mc Eacharn. It is thanks to the work of this Scottish gentleman, lover of beauty and nature, that visitors today can enjoy the most beautiful botanical gardens in Europe.

Those of Villa Taranto is one of the most important botanical gardens in the world with thousands of species of plants and flowers from every place and harmoniously distributed over an area of approximately 16 hectares, crossed by 7 km of paths. The style is mainly English, although there are references which are typical of the Italian statues, fountains, pools, terraces, waterfalls and all that helps give a sense of magic to this spectacle of nature. Eucalyptus trees, azaleas, rhododendrons, magnolias, maples, camellias, dahlias, tulips, lotus flowers, heather, dwarf stars, hydrangeas, many tropical plants and rare species inhabit these spaces.


In 1939 Mc Eacharn, having no heirs, decided to donate the entire property, which he created between 1931 and 1936, to the Italian nation. In 1982 the gardens were opened to the public and today are run by the “Ente Giardini Botanici Villa Taranto.”

Remarkable is a visit in springtime when azaleas and rhododendrons are in full bloom, and the gardens assume a multi-varied color.

this is an excerpt from the book “Lake Maggiore” by Enrico Massetti.

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