Today, the Gardens of Villa della Pergola, in Alassio, bloom with the same lilacs and cacti that were dear to Daniel Hanbury, one of the English gentlemen who came to live in this wonderful residence, contributing to its mixed beauty.
Daniel was the son of sir Thomas Hanbury, who had first “conquered” Alassio and so strongly supported the London-Genoa railway built in 1872. Once he became the owner of Villa della Pergola in 1922, he started adding new botanical species to the beautiful park that had been first established in the 1870s by a Scottish general, who had transformed an old farm into the perfect slice of paradise where he could retreat on the Riviera.
Hanbury added to the extensive range of flowers already present, with Mexican fan palms, agave and aloe, and many more plants and flowers from both the Mediterranean and faraway, exotic places.
Then the Second World War hit, and the estate was abandoned and taken over by weeds and wild animals.
But since 2006, thanks to the efforts of Silvia Arnaud and Antonio Ricci, the Gardens of Villa della Pergola are back in bloom.