Venice is a city of hidden gems, and the Royal Gardens, also known as Giardini Reali, is no exception.

Tucked away in the bustling St. Mark's Square, these gardens offer a tranquil escape from the crowds and a glimpse into Venice's rich history.

A Brief History of the Royal Gardens of Venice

royal gardens venice trolvag, CC BY-SA 3.0 <>, via Wikimedia Commons
Photo by trolvag, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The Royal Gardens, located so close to Piazza San Marco, have a long and fascinating history.

The Royal Gardens, also known as Napoleon's Gardens, were part of an extensive project to organize the Marcian area of Venice, strongly desired by the French emperor.

The gardens were designed by royal architect Mezzani in a classic and elegant Italian style, featuring a series of geometric elements that are repeated harmoniously.

After political decay, the Austrians took over management of the city and made major interventions to the gardens, including the insertion of two small groves and the reinforcement of the two main entrances with tree-lined avenues.

The gardens were left to the City at the beginning of the XX century, and they have since been open and accessible to the public.

The gardens are located behind the Procuratie Nuove and overlook the San Marco basin, providing a splendid location guarded by the shadow of the Bell Tower and looking towards the Lagoon and the Church of San Giorgio Maggiore.

What to See and How to Visit this green area

royal gardens
Photo by trolvag, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The restoration of the Royal Gardens in Venice was a collaboration between the City Council and the Venice Gardens Foundation. They wanted to restore the gardens considering 3 aspects: architectural, landscape and botanical.

So, nowadays, prepare to be amazed by the stunning restoration of the Royal Gardens in Venice!

The neoclassical pavilion and greenhouse, originally designed by Lorenzo Santi, have been given a new lease of life and are now set to host an array of exciting artistic, cultural, and research activities.

The landscape has been transformed into a captivating Mediterranean wonderland, with the sobriety and elegance of English gardens restored to their former glory.

The botanical restoration is simply awe-inspiring, with an incredible number of species of grasses and flowers expertly planted in the city. Tall trees, shrubs, herbaceous and bulbous species, climbing plants, and a Japanese wisteria that will bloom in spring all combine to create a breathtaking symphony of color and fragrance.

The restoration has even eliminated all incongruous structures and superfetations that had accumulated over the years, leaving behind a pristine and stunningly beautiful garden.

The Royal Gardens are a reminder to take care of our natural environment and to cherish the beauty that they offer us each day.

Opening hours and Tickets

Make sure you have checked the opening hours before coming here:

  • From April 15th to October 1hth, the gardens are open from Wednesday to Friday from 8.30 AM to 7.00 PM; from Saturday to Sunday from 8.30 AM to 7.30 PM.
  • From October 16th to April 14th, the gardens are open daily from 9.00 AM to 5 PM.

The Royal Gardens are open to the public and are completely free to enter.

However, if you are travelling with groups of more than 10 people you should book your entrance here (the webpage is in Italian):

Visitors can stroll along the winding paths, admire the beautiful flowers and plants, and relax on one of the many benches. Don't miss the impressive fountain and the stunning views of St. Mark's Basilica.

While a ticket is not required to enter the Royal Gardens, it's important to note that some areas may be closed off for maintenance or events.

It's always a good idea to check the official website or ask at the entrance before visiting.

How to get to the Royal Gardens

The Royal Gardens are located in St. Mark's Square, just a short walk from the famous St. Mark's Basilica.

To get there, you can take a vaporetto (water bus) to the San Zaccaria or San Marco stops, or simply walk from anywhere in central Venice.

The Royal Gardens of Venice are a true oasis in the heart of the city.

With their rich history, stunning views, and peaceful atmosphere, they are a must-visit for anyone exploring Venice.

Whether you're a nature lover, a history buff, or simply looking for a quiet escape from the crowds, the Royal Gardens are the perfect destination.

So pack your bags, grab your camera, and come discover the beauty of Venice's Royal Gardens for yourself!

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