Throughout history diverse cultures have crossed paths in Sicily. Greeks, Romans, Arabs, and Normans were drawn to the island by its strategic location. Their growing colonies overlapped and over time a fascinating and uniquely Sicilian culture came into existence. Using a canvas of nature, gardens in Sicily reflect the essence of the complex local culture.
"Gardens of Sicily" explores the captivating environs of Sicilian gardens and documents their richly varied dimensions, contours, and designs. From jungles of giant ficus to small Arabic gardens refreshed with streams of water, the variety of gardens and plant life found in Sicily is striking. Traces of a layered history can be found all over the island, recent buildings complement ancient architecture and non-indigenous plants mix with local breeds. In the spring the landscape from the valley of temples in Agrigento up to the Madonie mountains is covered with wildflowers. Citrus perfumes the gardens of the monumental villas in the town of agheria and the courtyard of the Chiostri in Monreale. Fortified castles contain orange groves, cities and private villas boast luxuriant parks; all are illuminated and nourished by enchanting Sicilian sunlight.
All of the extraordinary locations included in "Gardens of Sicily" are examined in lively descriptive texts by Clare Littlewood who has a background in landscape architecture. Gorgeous photographs by Mario Ciampi perfectly evoke the atmosphere of each garden. In addition to armchair travel to Sicily, this book offers original insights into garden design to anyone interested in the field.