The Royal Gardens in Venice – Giardini Reali are one of the extremely scarce green parts of the city. Bordered by water from each side, and with only narrow passages between the buildings, Venice has very few accessible gardens or public parks. However, Venice has almost 500 hidden parks! Read about them here.
The Royal Gardens have a particularly privileged position, right behind Piazza San Marco. They are also close to the pier of vaporetto (Giardinetti and San Marco stops). And that’s the side from which they are accessed. They can be admired from the boat or vaporetto from the Grand Canal.
At this exact point of the city once was located one of the oldest centres of commercial and maritime activity in Venice, with its public offices and grain magazines. The gardens were planned by Napoleon during his occupation of the city, adjacent to his Royal Palace – the building of Procuratie Nuove. Therefore, the park is surrounded by the Correr Museum, the Royal Palace, the Archaeological Museum and the Marciana Library. The central part is the Coffee House, the elegant domed garden pavilion designed by the architect Lorenzo Santi.
This little park, covering only half a hectare, is an oasis of greenery and tranquillity. Its paths are covered with pergolas of climbing plants, and there are quite a lot of benches.
The park is being thoroughly restored, and it will reopen with brand new splendour in the spring 2019.
It’s definitely not a must-see, but it’s a place to rest from the bustle of other crowded parts of the city, find some shade in the warmer months, or wait for a vaporetto. It’s also a popular place for a little picnic – bring some snacks with you, you won’t find much here.
The entrance is free; access from the sea side (next to the “Giardinetti” stop of vaporetto).
Photo by Anton Nosik, Aerial view of Area Marciana of Venice CCBY 3.0