One of the few Italian-style gardens overlooking the sea has a breathtaking view of the lovely Ligurian bay
In the Ligurian province of La Spezia, there is no shortage of charming locations. Here, the encounter between land and sea creates amazing sceneries with little towns and villages nestled in them. On a promontory between Lerici and San Terenzo, Villa Marigola is a dwelling of high historical and architectural value. This unique mansion is surrounded by one of the few Italian-style gardens overlooking the sea. Since it was built in the 18th century, its splendid park and panoramic position inspired poets and writers. Among them, there are Lord Byron, John Keats, Attilio Bertolucci, D.H. Lawrence, Sam Benelli, and Percy Bysshe Shelley.
Initially, it was the holiday residence of Marquise Ollandini until English banker Sir Reginald Pearse acquired it in the 19th century. The Englishman proceeded to embellish both the interior and exterior spaces. Subsequently, shipowner Gio Batta Bibolini bought the villa and asked architect Franco Oliva to refurbish it together with the park. Between 1926 and 1949, he completed a major project that resulted in the current layout of the Villa Marigola. Probably the most impressive changes that Oliva implemented concern the magnificent gardens. Among them, a connection between the evergreen forest behind the villa with the Italian parterre overlooking the Castle of Lerici. The latter has boxwood and stachys borders and a frame of cypresses and magnificent specimens of grandiflora magnolias. Oliva maintained the so-called Bocklin, a small artificial cave that welcomes visitors at the entrance of the gardens.