From mid-May to mid-June, the Conca dei Rododendri (Rhododendron Bowl) of Oasi Zegna, in the province of Biella, turns into an extraordinarily beautiful palette of red, pink, white and purple thanks to the flowers’ blooming.
In the 1920s, textile entrepreneur Ermenegildo Zegna decided to “create a beauty accessible to everyone” in the hills above Trivero, where his woolen mill was, by planting over 500,000 conifers and hundreds of azaleas, dahlias, hydrangeas, copper beeches, ashes, spiraeas, heather, and camellias. The scenographic Rhododendron Bowl was designed in the 60s, as a continuation of the same project, by the landscape architect Pietro Porcinai.
The plants were carefully arranged in this natural basin, according to their sizes and the different flowering colors, following a harmonious design that fits perfectly into the surrounding landscape. In the small enchanted valley, in late spring, the rhododendrons of many varieties, especially Ponticum and Hebrides mainly from Belgian nurseries, offer a spectacle to be seen at least once in a lifetime. To fully appreciate this unique opportunity, it is possible to take part in two-hour walks guided by naturalistic guides who illustrate the blooming phenomenon in detail.
Moreover, international artists have scattered the territory of Trivero and its surroundings with their works. In the Rhododendron Bowl, for example, there is ‘Two Way Mirror / Hedge Arabesque’ by Dan Graham, a steel and glass structure that envelops visitors in a game of reflections.