Isole Borromee Isole Borromee

29 September 2020

The medieval-inspired garden of the Rocca di Angera

The medieval-inspired garden of the Rocca di Angera

In the Middle Ages plants were an integral part of people’s lives: they were food, flavourings, medicines, fabrics, colours, soap and much more. And they also had a symbolic meaning associated with the spiritual life.

In the garden of the Rocca Borromeo the aim has been to recreate the environment that welcomed this complex and fascinating world at that time. By studying the texts and iconographies, we have been able to trace the names of the plants that were known and used at the time; these have been sought out and, where possible, recovered. Flowers that today seem too simple, that grow at the edges of roads, that are pulled up as weeds, are valued here and, if they do grow spontaneously, they retain their place of honour showing off their rediscovered beauty.

It is the rediscovery of the “original” plant, the one that is present in nature, that knows nothing of human intervention and the cultural contaminations typical of the centuries that followed. The garden follows the life cycles of plants and revives the naturalness of far-off times. In this way it is possible to admire the beautiful blossoms of the apple and almond trees in April, the flowers of the chicory in August and the mature leafless pumpkins in September.

fioriture rocca di angera
The spontaneous flowers in the garden

Lettuces, cabbages, carrots, onions and chards grow in the Vegetable Garden. The pumpkin is the Lagenaria, the “bottle-shaped” one, the legumes are fava beans and chickpeas. A collection of aromatic herbs for seasoning enriches everything. In the Orchad apples and pears, figs and medlars.

orto rocca di angera
Aromatic herbs in the vegetable garden
frutteto rocca di angera
The quince, a very popular fruit tree in the Middle Ages

In the Garden of the Princes, the only zone devoted solely to aesthetic enjoyment, a rose garden welcomes Rosa gallica officinale, also known as the Apothecary’s rose, and Rosa alba, white and red, which with their single flowerings testify to the traditions of the past. Also present in this zone are Rosa botanica and Damask rose, which resemble to their ancient cousins, but offer continuous, generous flowering to visitors during the entire summer season. Together with the roses there are various herbaceous flowers that have been handed down from the images of that time: Madonna Lily, Martagon Lily, Common Peony, Iris florentina (white), primroses and violets.

pergolato rocca di angera
The Prince's pergola, with a spring in the center, is covered with roses in May
rose rocca di angera
The mottling of botanical roses

To guarantee a presence of colour in all the periods of the season, plants have been added that, even thought they produced flowers, had entirely different intended uses. Such as chicory, with its blue summer flowers; Saponaria, a delicate pale pink flower; Chervil, with its light white flowers; the poppy, in its many colours; Betony, with its sky blue ‘ears’.

Medicinal herbs, divided up into groups based on their curative functions and illustrated in detail by a signage system, fill the raised flowerbeds made of woven willow typical of the gardens of monks, in the Garden of small herbs Together with these, the dye-house plants, useful grasses (flax, hemp, Saponaria) and magical herbs.

In the grove, where hazels, laurels, cypresses and holm oaks create a fresh, cool atmosphere, a small brook flows into the pond where iris, buttercup, Myosotis and water mint bloom. Further along, a topiary yew tree with three overlapping disks dominates beneath the chestnut dome of the pergola, on which ancient varieties of grape climb and, with time, will provide a little shade in the sunnier months. Lawns left to grow uncut offer the image of wildness intended to be conveyed.

giardino rocca di angera
Not just red for the garden poppies
giardino erbe piccole rocca di angera
In caissons, they bloom until autumn, turning the garden yellow

Until 1st November, the seasonal closure of the Rocca di Angera, the atmosphere of the garden is rendered even more magical thanks to the “Fantastic Utopias” contemporary art exhibition being staged in the Ala Scaligera of the castle. The exhibition, curated by Ilaria Bonacossa and in collaboration with Galleria Continua, displays the works of 15 international artists who, in their difference, give rise to unexpected images and objects, both seductive and frightening at the same time, able to take us into alternative universes far removed from reality.  The exhibition came about based on the premise that in our post-real world, in which conflicts and political and environmental crises seem to follow each other in rapid succession, the fantastic and its representations have returned to being at the centre of contemporary reflections.  With the aim of escaping reality, we dream of being surrounded by magical creatures, we live thinking of monsters and battles amid dystopian worlds, as if the secularisation of society has led to the need to imagine ourselves in other worlds.

 

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La melagrana è un frutto molto presente nelle raffigurazioni pittoriche, sia sacre che profane. Miti e leggende ne cantano i diversi significati e proprietà: prosperità, fertilità, resurrezione.
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Tra i più importanti dipinti di pittura tardogotica lombarda di soggetto profano, la Sala delle Cerimonie della Rocca di Angera ospita un grande lacerto, proveniente dal Palazzo Borromeo di Milano, con la “Raccolta delle melagrane” in cui è possibile riconoscere l’impronta dello stile di Michelino da Besozzo, attivo per la famiglia Borromeo nel 1445.
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Pomegranate is a fruit very present in pictorial depictions, both sacred and profane. Myths and legends sing its different meanings and properties: prosperity, fertility, resurrection.
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Some of the most important of the Lombard late Gothic paintings of profane subjects are housed in the Sala delle Cerimonie [Ceremonies Room] of the Rocca di Angera, including the "Collection of pomegranates". Originally from Palazzo Borromeo in Milan, it is possible to recognize the style  of Michelino da Besozzo, active for the Borromeo family in 1445.

#terreborromeo #lakemaggiore #lagomaggiore #borromeoexperience #melagrana #pomegranate #roccadiangera #artlovers
Siamo entusiasti che Verbania possa essere Capitale della Cultura Italiana 2022.

Un territorio con una grande ricchezza culturale al quale siamo naturalmente legati da secoli.

@verbania2022

#Verbania2022
#LaCulturaRiflette
#VerbaniaRiflette
#VerbaniaCapitaledellaCultura22
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Originario del bacino del Mediterraneo, il ciclamino fu studiato anche da Plinio il Vecchio  che consigliava di piantarlo nel giardino di casa contro la cattiva sorte.
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Una volta persi i petali, si distende verso il terreno per spargere i semi dai quali nasceranno le nuove piante.
È forse per questo che viene anche considerato simbolo di fertilità.
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Qual è il vostro colore preferito?
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Originally from the Mediterranean basin, cyclamen was studied by Pliny the Elder who advised planting it in the garden of the house to ward off bad luck.
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Once its petals are gone, it stretches out on to the ground to spread the seeds from which new plants will be born.
This is perhaps why it is also considered a symbol of fertility.
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Which is your favourite colour?

#terreborromeo #lakemaggiore #lagomaggiore #borromeoexperience #ciclamino #cyclamen
#botanica #natureaddicted
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È qui la festa?
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Possiamo continuare a immaginare quali meravigliose cerimonie e feste abbiano avuto luogo qui, nella Sala da Ballo di Palazzo Borromeo sull'Isola Bella.
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Reali da ogni parte d’Europa sono rimasti senza fiato davanti a questo Salone in stile neoclassico opera dell’architetto e poeta Giuseppe Zanoja, tra colonne e lesene che si alternano a specchi e nicchie con statue di marmo.
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 Is the party here?
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We can continue to imagine the wonderful ceremonies and celebrations that took place here, in the ballroom of Palazzo Borromeo on Isola Bella.
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Royalty from all over Europe were speechless at the sight of this Neoclassical style hall. Designed by the architect and poet Giuseppe Zanoja, it features columns and pilasters that alternate with mirrors, niches and marble statues.

#terreborromeo #lakemaggiore #lagomaggiore #borromeoexperience #artlovers #viaggioinitalia #NextDestination #TheBestDestinations #TravelInspiration
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"Non è nelle stelle che è conservato il nostro destino, ma in noi stessi."
William Shakespeare
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Aspettando insieme il nuovo anno, Terre Borromeo vi augura un 2021 di buoni propositi.
Che possa essere davvero un nuovo inizio.
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"It is not in the stars that our destiny is preserved, but in ourselves."
William Shakespeare
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As we wait together for the New Year, Terre Borromeo wishes you a 2021 of great fortune. 
May it truly bring new beginnings.

#terreborromeo #lakemaggiore #lagomaggiore #borromeoexperience #stresa #2021 #happynewyear
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Questi pacchi sono fatti per non essere aperti.
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I giardinieri dell'Isola Bella e dell'Isola Madre hanno impacchettato i nostri agrumi che resteranno chiusi fino a quando le temperature non torneranno miti.
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These packages are made not to be opened.
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Gardeners on Isola Bella and Isola Madre have packed our citrus fruits and they will remain closed until temperatures get warmer again.

#terreborromeo #lakemaggiore #lagomaggiore #borromeoexperience #stresa #isolabella #arancio #orangetrees
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Non ci stanchiamo mai dell'arte, dei fiori, dei musi buffi degli animali.
La bellezza è stata una risorsa fondamentale per affrontare le incognite del 2020.
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Questo Natale vi auguriamo di continuare a scoprire la meraviglia delle piccole cose.
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We never get tired of art, flowers or the funny faces of animals.
Beauty has been a key resource in addressing the unknowns of 2020.
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This Christmas we hope you continue to discover the wonder of the little things.

#terreborromeo #lakemaggiore #lagomaggiore #borromeoexperience #christmasiscoming #natale2020