Villa Barbarigo is a “philosophical garden”, a symbolic park that offers both a physical and an existential journey, like an initiation.
Conceived by Cardinal Gregorio Barbarigo – later canonized by Pope John XXIII – and built by architect Luigi Bernini, brother of the famous Gian Lorenzo, the complex structure came to be in the second half of the 1600s, in Valsanzibio di Galzignano Terme, near Padua.
It includes the Statue of Time, the Rabbit Island, a Labyrinth of centuries-old boxes, the Sonnet’s Staircase… fifteen hectares dotted with mysterious allegories: statues, fountains, ponds, small buildings, and numerous species of plants, some of them rare. Each element renews an invitation to walk in the garden pondering one’s destiny and final goals in life.
The park has recently been awarded the international Most Beautiful Garden in Europe Award: it is, indeed, a place of absolute beauty, whether you consider or not the religious or exoteric messages it may convey.