Giardino Giusti in Verona and Villa Fracanzan Piovene: The centuries-old Italian gardens that evoke the romance of Romeo and Juliet.
The name Giusti has been synonymous with one of Italy’s most celebrated Renaissance gardens since the late 16th century. Originally wool-dyers from Prato in Tuscany, the Giusti family had moved its business north in the previous century, settling in an unglamorous industrial suburb of Verona. Within a few generations, its members were rich and had also acquired the requisite antiquarian and artistic tastes of true Renaissance gentlefolk.
The garden created by Agostino Giusti between 1565 and 1580 was intended to fulfil various functions. It had to showcase his collection of Roman inscriptions and to serve as a setting for the lavish theatrical and musical productions—the predecessors of opera—then in vogue. To this day, the garden retains the surprise element of a stage set, presenting a magnificent and entertaining spectacle that totally confounds one’s expectations of a city garden.