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Il giardino di Palazzo Gonzaga Acerbi

Palazzo Gonzaga Acerbi garden

italiano Italian version

Private property, not open to the public


Once you reach Piazza Mazzini, both the historic and current centre of Castel Goffredo, you can see Palazzo Gonzaga Acerbi on the north side of the square, a two-storey building standing between the Torre Civica and the Torrazzo, whose size hides from view the garden behind, of which only a great oak tree around 30 metres tall can be glimpsed. The garden’s lush vegetation and majestic trees can be admired from Via Manzoni, on the west side of the property, where it is surrounded only by a low wall. At the end of the street on the right, you can see the remains of the ancient outer wall of the fortress that forms the northern edge of the property and preserves part of the terraced embankment that forms the end of the garden.
Passing through the main door and the entrance hall of the palazzo, you find yourself in a great painted loggia, which opens out onto an area, defined as a courtyard in a drawing of the late 1500s, located in front of the garden itself and separated from it by a exedra with a wrought iron gate, dating back to the second half of the 18th century. The current romantic garden, planted by the Acerbi Family, owners of the property since 1776, presents little informal pathways that weave around great flowerbeds carpeted with ivy, pervinca, irises and daylilies and a few shrub and perennial herbaceous areas. It is also home to some large trees (European Nettle Trees, yews, lime trees and spruces) and decorated with statues, such as the Mercury framed by the exedra gate, adorned with two beautiful climbing roses brought back from Egypt in the 1800s by Giuseppe Acerbi, a great botanist.
Building began on the palazzo in 1449, under commission first by Ludovico Gonzaga, then by Luigi and Alfonso, occupying part of the Castelvecchio, with its stunning annexed garden of around 2000 square metres, which, as we are reminded by a manuscript of the 1600s, displayed pergolas of various grape varieties supported by marble columns and a beautiful marble fountain. Matteo Bandello described it most poetically, remembering the different species of fragrant flowers and aromatic herbs and the hedges planted in the shape of animals and birds. By 1756, this splendid garden was reduced to “stony and uncultivated” ground.

(From  L. Tabai, Il giardino di Palazzo Gonzaga Acerbi, in I giardini dei Gonzaga 2018, pp. 213-217)


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