A place where gardens rise up on the site of a once-prominent 8th-century town. Documentation traces Ninfa to the 1st century, when Pliny wrote of a temple constructed in homage to mythical nymphs: Nymphs known to dwell in Ninfa's pristine lake, the cold waters flowing from an alpine mountain source.
In 1297 Pope Bonifaciio VIII gifted Ninfa to a relative, Pietro Caetani. Yet, by the late 1300s,
warring factions overran the thriving Medieval town, leaving it in ruins.
Look to The English Garden Abroad, should you wish to learn more about the making of Ninfa's gardens.
In the well-researched book, Charles Quest-Ritson follows the shaping of the present-day gardens by the creators: Three generations of the Caetani family responsible for the landscape one sees today. In particular, three ladies of English and American ancestry - laudable, artistic figures who contributed to the gardenscape. A breathtaking naturalism envelops the visitor to Ninfa. At every turn, the eye rests upon lush greenery,
or plentiful vistas of fresh water.
The wistful romanticism of ancient stone walls is not easily captured in words;
the stone surfaces a honey-hued canvas for fading frescoes.
Part 3 to follow ....