Last Updated on 11/09/2023
On the lakes of Italy and in Ticino, there are many former villas with gardens created by their wealthy owners and opened to the public after their death. There are also just parks without villas. In the vicinity of Locarno, lovers of parks and gardens can see: the camellia park in Locarno (it makes sense only during the flowering season), the tea plantation in Ascona, the botanical garden on the Brissago island, the botanical garden in Gambarogno.
Read more about Ascona and Locarno.
Lake Lugano attractions map
Ticino attractions map. Locarno, Bellinzona and valleys
Ticino guest cards and public transport Ticino
5 best viewpoints of Lake Lugano
Lake Maggiore Attractions of Italian part
There are 900 varieties of camellias growing in the camellia park in Locarno, and an international camellia exhibition is held at the end of March.
The Gambarogno Botanical Garden is the world’s largest collection of magnolias (including the rare yellow magnolia) and one of the richest collections of camellias in Europe. Azaleas, rhododendrons, peonies, wisterias also bloom in this park.
The peak of flowering in the Camellia Park falls on March-April, in the Gambarogno Park – in March-June (maximum – April).
But we were here in August, therefore we choose Island Brissago.
There were two churches on the island of Brissago in the Middle Ages. At the end of the 19th century it was bought by the Saint-Leger couple. They built a garden on it.
Antoinette Saint-Leger hosted famous artists and writers on the island and invested in risky activities, so her husband left her. Later, due to debts, she was forced to sell the island to the millionaire Emden, who decided to keep the park, but build a large villa in it on the ruins of the monastery. The heirs sold the island to the canton.
The island is home to 1,700 species of various exotic plants. The villa has also survived – it houses a restaurant, organizes conferences, and holds events. The island is small, you can take about two hours to visit.
We start from Ascona.
Lots of exotic fruits and vegetables.