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“Vega di Milis”, the long valley planted for centuries with citrus fruits, may take your breath away if you explored it during the flowering period; over time it has been a popular attraction for anybody visiting Sardinia.

THE FOREST OF VILLAFLOR

The “Garden of the Friars” was created thanks to several citrus fruit trees planted by the Camaldolese Friars around 1200, before becoming a property of the Archbishop of Oristano.
The Marquis Pilo Boyl of Putifigari, Counts of Villaflor, bought it in the second half of the XIX century, building a magnificent portal and renaming the whole area as “Bosco di Villaflor”.

THE PORTAL OF THE ZALIDAS GARDEN

The citrus grove was brought as a dowry by Donna Maddalena Vacca Salazar, from Milis, when she married Marquis Vittorio Pilo Boyl of Putifigari, in 1800; the beautiful green facility was then visited by many kings and famous people.

In 1829, even General La Marmora paid a visit to “Bosco di Villaflor” along with the Prince of Carignano, who would become King of Sardinia in 1831. The latter even tried to hug a large orange tree, although it proved too big to do it! That very huge specimen was thus named “the King of the Orange Trees” or “The Orange Tree of Carlo Alberto” and its bark was engraved with the commemorative inscription: “Carolus Albertus Rei Nostru Hat Visitadu Custa Vega Su 18 Maju 1829” (“Our king Carlo Alberto visited this place on May 18th, 1829”).

Over time, the original engraving deteriorated and, presumably, a commemorative metal plaque was applied to the tree.
In 1841, General La Marmora took King Carlo Alberto to Sardinia once again and visited Milis.
On that occasion, he was positively intrigued by the local orange trade.

This post is also available in: Italiano (Italian)

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