The annual competition to nominate the most beautiful Italian garden of the year saw dual winners in this edition: the laurels went to both the Villa Medici in Rome, seat of the historic French Academy, and the Ninfa Gardens in the countryside some 80 kms south of Rome. The winners were chosen from over one thousand candidates.
The formal Italian garden of Villa Medici, with its geometric layout delimited by box hedges, has been recently restored to its former glory by the Academy and is open to the public. The Ninfa Gardens are, instead, private, and administered by the Roffredo Caetani Foundation. Famous for their romantic setting among the ruins of an abandoned medieval city, the gardens are also a nature reserve . Admission is allowed at weekends from spring to autumn.
The jury also assigned a special mention to the 17th century Giardino Botanico della Cultura of Giuggianello, Lecce (Puglia).
This year, for the first time, visitors were able to vote their choice of park through Facebook. In this case, the winner was Villa Serra at Sant'Olcese, Genoa (Liguria).