Villa Anelli Garden

This post is also available in: Italiano (Italian)

Villa Anelli is in Gonte di Oggebbio, along the Piedmont shore of Lake Maggiore. Its enchanting garden houses one of the most important European collections of camellias and is included in the prestigious “Gardens of Excellence” directory.

In 1872, Carlo Berzio – a young notary from Milan – built the villa and the garden (the latter featuring the typical romantic style), taking advantage of the sloping land. He thus created an elevated green area in front of the main residence, developed on three terraces, as well as a lower garden winding along the valley beyond the house. Berzio planted numerous exotic species and plants that were very popular at the time (including several cultivars of camellias), and created a network of winding paths, delimited by rocks; he also inserted brick and stone arches, rocaille fountains (decorated with pebbles, terracotta and sculptures), minerals, shells, and ceramic tiles, among the thick maidenhair trees.

Upon his death in 1901, the property passed to his sister Giuseppina and to her husband – the noble lawyer Alessandro Anelli from Milan. In the 1950s, a group of enthusiasts, including engineer Antonio Sevesi (a close friend of the new owner Alessandra Anelli), Bruno Caraffini and Silvio Coggiati, as well as seasoned growers like Piero Hillebrand, Piffaretti, and Mario Carmine, began importing several species of camellias from all over the world. They had already been studying the XIX century varieties in the oldest part of the park, so they enlarged the existing collection by planting brand new species in Italy. Eventually, the founded the Italian Society of Camelia in 1965, headed by Antonio Sevesi.
The collection of camellias has thus been progressively enriched, reaching the current 600 specimens belonging to 200 different species, including countless winter flowering.

Many tall trees grow in the garden as well, including Picea abies, Fagus sylvatica “Pendula”, Carpinus betulus, Cinnamomum camphora, Metasequoia glyptostroboides (one of the oldest in Italy), Cupressus cashmeriana, several examples of Cryptomeria japonica, some Cedrus spp., the Trachycarpus fortunei, and Chamaerops humilis palm trees. Not to mention giant bamboo groves, flowering cherry trees and shrubs such as Osmanthus fragrans, several rhododendrons, viburnums, gordonias, flowering cherry trees and, as already mentioned, many XIX-century cultivars of camellia.

Today, a nursery is annexed to the villa: “La Camelia D”Oro”, specialized in historical camellias reproduced by offshoots from large specimens of the local gardens.
On this estate, there is also a small, delightful Bed & Breakfast facility.

This post is also available in: Italiano (Italian)


Via Vittorio Veneto, 6 - Oggebbio(VB)

0323 503249

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