Hidden treasures

The Garden of Eden on the Giudecca Island in Venice

Unknown places & works
giardino-eden-venezia

The Garden of Eden on the Giudecca Island in Venice

Behind the male prison on the Giudecca Island, there is a secret hidden garden, concealed from sight and with an intriguing name: the Garden of Eden.

In 1880 the Englishman Frederic Eden bought what remained of the garden of the convent of the Cross and turned it into his own personal paradise.

He planted pine trees, cypresses, oleanders, lemon trees, magnolias, pomegranates, bergamot, vines, violets, tropical plants, verbenas, and especially roses, for which he had a real passion. Artists, writers and the local aristocracy frequented the garden. Henry James described it in his famous novel 'The Aspern Papers' and Gabriele D'Annunzio used it as the setting for the final chapter of his book 'Fire'.

After the death of Mr. Eden in 1916, in 1927 the garden and the villa were passed to Princess Aspasia of Greece who further enriched the garden with botanical Mediterranean species. In 1919, the princess married the crown prince of Greece Alexander, who died a year later from a monkey bite; their only daughter Alessandra in 1945 married Peter II, the last king of Serbia. Aspasia lived in the palace and garden of Eden until her death in 1972. Later the artist and Austrian architect Frederick Hunderwasser purchased the property. He took care of the garden in a very original way, arguing that 'we must not do gardening, but let nature take its course'.

Following his death the garden has passed to the Hundertwasser Foundation, which takes care of its maintenance and allows no one into this enchanted place…

Venice is full of places like this garden, hidden treasures known only by experienced local guides. The Garden of Eden is closed to the public but many other masterpieces are open to visitors, you just have to know where to find them! venetoinside.com offers you the chance to discover the hidden treasures of Venice thanks to Your Own Venice, a private tour and fully customizable allowing you to draw close to the less touristy side of the city in the company of our brilliant Venetian guides!

By Insidecom Editorial Staff

Latest posts

Treviso: The curious legends about the origin of Treviso Red Chicory

radicchio_CC.Mon CEil
Did you know that...

Did you know that, according to an ancient popular saying, red chicory (radicchio as it is known in Italy) seems to have been born as a...

View

Venice: Acqua Alta: when a normal phenomenon becomes tragic

Acqua-alta-a-Venezia
Did you know that...

Did you know that ‘Acqua Alta’ is an expression of Venetian dialect used by its inhabitants to describe the high tides that occur p...

View

Venice: Mars, Adam and Eve: the Doge's Palace celebrates their return

restauro-adamo-eva-ducale
Unknown places & works

After four years of delicate restoration work, the three fifteenth-century statues by the great artist Antonio Rizzo will be exceptiona...

View

Romano D' Ezzellino: Why do they say ‘If you can't sleep, count sheep’?

contare-le-pecore
Figures of speech

It all started in Romano d’Ezzelino in the province of Vicenza when Ezzelino da Romano, who suffered from insomnia, hired a storytell...

View

Top posts

Venice: The red lights of St Mark’s Basilica in memory of the poor ‘fornareto’

il_fornareto
Mysteries & Legends

If you find yourself wandering around St Mark’s Basilica in the evening, take a look at its southern façade ... you will notice two ...

View

Treviso: Why is Prosecco wine called precisely Prosecco?

colline-del-prosecco
Did you know that...

On 7 July 2019, Veneto and the whole of Italy toasted to the Prosecco Hills, now a UNESCO World Heritage Site! The World Heritage Commi...

View

Venice: The origins of the Spritz cocktail

spritz-veneziano
Local Traditions

Spritz, the typical Venetian aperitif, has nowadays become the iconic cocktail of Happy hour not only in Italy, but all over the world....

View

Belluno: The mystery of the Pietrificatore from Sospirolo

pietrificatore
Mysteries & Legends

Nestled inside the Dolomiti National Park, in the province of Belluno lies the small village of Sospirolo. A peculiar man was born here...

View