The peninsula of Milazzo, along the north-eastern coast of Sicily, boasts a thousand-year old history that has shaped its territory and landscape. Called ‘Aurea Chersoneso’ in antique times, namely the ‘Peninsula of the Sun’, the city was founded by the Greeks in 716 B.C with the name of Mylai. Milazzo is a land of villas, gardens and botanical collections owing to the presence of an established aristocratic class as well as the mild coastal climate that enables cultivating exotic species. Particularly at the promontory of Capo Milazzo, numerous villas with authentic acclimation gardens were created over the course of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th. Among the numerous gardens identified and surveyed, located between the plain and the promontory, at least 20 still preserve an ornamental flora of exceptional value. Among the best conserved and/or representative of the territory, adjoining historical villas, those of the Elvira villas of Prince Bonaccorsi, Ella, Lungarini, Bonaccorsi al Paradiso, Torre, Proto, Siragusa-Marullo, Calapaj, Zirilli are of special note. The floristic analysis has allowed appreciating their plant wealth expressed by 108 botanical families and 396 species; of these, a good percentage belongs to ‘common’ entities of the Sicilian historical garden and a small part instead belongs to rare or ancient entities. In addition to their distinct exotic natures, these gardens are characterized by the close ties with the surrounding agricultural space. Indeed, it is typical, to find them harmonically integrated with the agrarian landscape and the natural landscape. In some gardens there are both ancient fruits of the Mediterranean area and exotic fruits from distant lands. Among the plants of special botanical value for their rarity or monumental nature particular mention should be made of a majestic eucalyptus, Corymbia citriodora, somewhat rare in the Sicilian garden and found in the garden of Villa Calapaj. Interesting again is the presence of Acacia podalyrifolia, Calia secundiflora, Chamaerops humilis, Cinnamomum camphora, Corymbia citriodora, Corynocarpus laevigatus, Cotoneaster pannosus, Cycas revoluta, Cupressus sempervirens, Dovyalis caffra, Euphorbia canariensis, Kleinia neriifolia, Kleinia anteuphorbium, Morus alba, Ochrosia elliptica, Opuntia tomentosa, Tamarix gallica and Vachellia farnesiana. An important evocative aspect also concerns the fragrant plants, in particular jasmine, a protagonist of the garden of Milazzo still as it once was in the past in the countryside of the plain, when a scented paste, known as jasmine concrete, was obtained from processing of its flowers. This green patrimony represented by ancient, unusual and localized plants, hallmarks the ornamental flora of the Milazzo territory. Knowledge of these rare plants represents a key to preserving and valorising both individual elements as well as the sites where they are found.
|Titolo:||PLANTS OF HISTORICAL GARDENS OF MILAZZO(MESSINA, SICILY)|
|Data di pubblicazione:||2014|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||4.1 Contributo in Atti di convegno|