Villa Buonaccorsi, the gardens of a Jesuit botanist
The beautiful Villa Buonaccorsi – in Potenza Picena, Macerata – is clearly marked by the talent of the illustrious 17th-century botanist, Siena-born Jesuit Giovanni Battista Ferrari (1584-1655): his teachings on the art of gardening seem to have inspire the creators of this wonderful park, overlooking the Adriatic Sea.
Famous for its many mythological statues and sculptures, fountains and obelisks, niches and water features, Villa Buonaccorsi’s overall structure dates back to the 18th century, with five terraces on the hillside crossed by laurel hedges, fishponds and geometric flowerbeds that look like colorful diamonds and stars.
The “secret garden” on the highest terrace – with its central fountain representing the Garden of Eden, from which the four Biblical rivers flow – as well as many numeric and geometric symmetries seem to suggest a knowledge of Ferrari’s most famous work, “De Florum cultura Libri IV”, first published in 1633 and part of the Counts Buonaccorsi’s library.
In it, Ferrari wrote, “Among the enjoyments of this mortal time of ours, there is none more honorable than taking care of and growing flowers. A ‘garden of pleasure’ welcomed newborn humanity, born like a child in a blooming cradle.”
A visit to Villa Buonaccorsi just might convince you he was absolutely right.