Historical gardens are special architectural and horticultural monuments of our heritage and because of their dynamic qualities they require similar attention to any other work of art. Important testimony to the past, but at the same time living monuments related to the inexorable process of biological metamorphosis, they represent an exceptional kind of cultural and environmental heritage: the mutability of nature is a quality not found in other human artefacts. Villa Manganelli Biscari, located on the foothills of Mount Etna in Viagrande, is a tangible example of this heritage. The Villa, built in the late 18th century as a holiday residence of an aristocratic family from Catania, is a remarkable historical, artistic and environmental resource for the area and the community. Today, the garden is part of the urban fabric of Viagrande, which lies to the North of Catania (Sicily), but it was originally located within a much larger farm. The investigation has considered various methodological steps which may be summed up in the identification and description of the garden as well as botanical surveying. A preliminary survey on the chronology of the park has also been carried out. The garden, about a hectare, is laid out on various levels connected by straight paths and smaller winding ones paved with grey and white pebblestones. The botanical survey has highlighted the garden’s plant diversity (119 genera and 68 families) and revealed an outstanding ancient tree heritage. The acquired data has helped outline the characteristics connoting the Manganelli Biscari garden, thus defining its ornamental quality and leading to a hypothesis for its restoration which might ensure the conservation of its historic-cultural essence. Given the garden’s age, size, floristic wealth and considerable archaeological and ethnographic collection, it genuinely qualifies as an ‘open-air museum’ with a harmonious blend of art and plants and as such represents a significant patrimony for the whole of Sicily.

The Etna Garden of Villa Manganelli Biscari: Knowledge, Conservation and Restoration

CRISTAUDO, Antonia Egidia;
2012

Abstract

Historical gardens are special architectural and horticultural monuments of our heritage and because of their dynamic qualities they require similar attention to any other work of art. Important testimony to the past, but at the same time living monuments related to the inexorable process of biological metamorphosis, they represent an exceptional kind of cultural and environmental heritage: the mutability of nature is a quality not found in other human artefacts. Villa Manganelli Biscari, located on the foothills of Mount Etna in Viagrande, is a tangible example of this heritage. The Villa, built in the late 18th century as a holiday residence of an aristocratic family from Catania, is a remarkable historical, artistic and environmental resource for the area and the community. Today, the garden is part of the urban fabric of Viagrande, which lies to the North of Catania (Sicily), but it was originally located within a much larger farm. The investigation has considered various methodological steps which may be summed up in the identification and description of the garden as well as botanical surveying. A preliminary survey on the chronology of the park has also been carried out. The garden, about a hectare, is laid out on various levels connected by straight paths and smaller winding ones paved with grey and white pebblestones. The botanical survey has highlighted the garden’s plant diversity (119 genera and 68 families) and revealed an outstanding ancient tree heritage. The acquired data has helped outline the characteristics connoting the Manganelli Biscari garden, thus defining its ornamental quality and leading to a hypothesis for its restoration which might ensure the conservation of its historic-cultural essence. Given the garden’s age, size, floristic wealth and considerable archaeological and ethnographic collection, it genuinely qualifies as an ‘open-air museum’ with a harmonious blend of art and plants and as such represents a significant patrimony for the whole of Sicily.
978-88-905639-8-0
historical garden; open-air museum; tree heritage
File in questo prodotto:
Non ci sono file associati a questo prodotto.

I documenti in IRIS sono protetti da copyright e tutti i diritti sono riservati, salvo diversa indicazione.

Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/20.500.11769/83069
Citazioni
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.pmc??? ND
  • Scopus ND
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.isi??? ND
social impact