We spent our last full day back in Verona exploring one of the best hidden gems of our entire European holiday. Jeff had read about the Giardino Giusti when researching what to do in Verona. As small as this village town is, it naturally has a similarly small list of places to site see. We wanted to relax but still explore and maybe get another view of the city from the eastern hill. I am so glad we decided to check out these gardens just outside the city center because they delivered some of the most serene moments.
We left our studio in the late morning and naturally stopped off for gelato first thing. The sun was shining so bright that day and it really made the town shine. We wandered about the streets, gazed into shops and across the ornately aged doorways.
By early afternoon we arrived at the palatial gates of the Giardino Giusti. The gardens were constructed in the late 1500s and include a series of terraces, fountains and a hedge maze. The Giusti family still owns and maintains the gardens today.
I mean serious house goals here. The gardens were STUNNING. I love love spending time in gardens...the flowers, the peacefulness, it helps a busy extrovert like myself calm down and think. I feel like each garden Jeff and I explored offered up an opportunity to just be and enjoy each other's company.
After getting lost in the lower terrace we made our way up the hill to the tower terrace. The views from the upper terrace were beautiful. We found pavilions, vine-covered tunnels and even a cave once used for prayer.
We spent about 2 hours in the gardens and barely saw another person the whole time. We played with the turtles, got lost in the hedge (not really but figuratively) and eventually made our way back to those towering gates.
We made so few plans on our itinerary for Europe. We planned to just "wing it" in most cities and go where the roads might take us. I am SO SO happy we did exactly that - it freed us up to have both little expectations and a lot of open time. Finding secret gardens like the Giardino Giusti was exactly what we hoped would happen when we didn't fill our days ahead of time. Finding the gardens gave us a chance to just be still...
We spent our last night in Verona with a homemade dinner in the studio and a lovely sit on the balcony overlooking the city at night. Verona turned out to be such a pleasant surprise.
Stay tuned for the last leg of our trip - ROMA!
~ A ~