Private property, open for booked visits
IThe main residence of the Corte di Schiarino, built at the turn of the 16th century in the Porto Mantovano district and featuring a garden that can still be admired today, can be identified with what is now called the Corte Schiarino Lena.
At the end of the 16th century, the estate belonged to Luigi Gonzaga di Palazzolo, who commissioned its construction, who died towards the end of 1595. Ercolano Marani made the hypothesis of a possible intervention by Giuseppe Dattari, prefect of the ducal buildings, who worked in the nearby Palazzina di Bosco Fontana.
After various changes of hands, the estate was sold in 1612 to Pirro Maria di Guido Sforza Gonzaga di Vescovato, who ceded it in 1617 to the Ducal Chamber. In the same year, it was bought by Carlo and Benedetto Dalla Torre, who sold it on immediately to the Campi family, relatives of the famous mannerist painter, Bernardino. The garden and the oratory already existed, although most likely in a different form from that described at the end of the century, when Schiarino was sold again, together with icehouse, garden, fishery, pergola, potted and planted citrus trees and Spanish jasmine. The court remained in the Perego family for over a century and was inherited by the Duranti family. Further changes of ownership followed until the current owners, descendants of the Lena family, took possession in 1923.
Today, the greatest changes in relation to the ancient structure can be observed in the fisheries, preserved along the road but buried behind the palazzo, though easily identifiable due to the dip in the ground. The sediment of the central canal is still very evident, in line with the entrance to the court and the main line of view of the southern garden. The buildings, however, have not undergone any significant changes and careful restoration has re-established the sumptuous interior decoration and all of the finery; even the eastern garden, overlooked by the orangery, has maintained its structure, with four areas surrounded by box hedges, embellished in the 1800s with exotic species.
(From L. Valli, Il giardino della Corte Schiarino Lena, in I giardini dei Gonzaga 2018, pp. 394-397)