The Garden Guide

Book: History of Garden Design and Gardening
Chapter: Chapter 2: Roman Gardens (500BC-500AD)

Pliny Larian Villa Garden

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56.Pliny's Larian Villa was situated on the Larian Lake, now the Lake of Como. He expatiates with pleasure upon two, out of several villas which he possessed on this lake, situated, like his villa at Baiï¾µ, the one on a rock, overlooking the lake; the other so close to the edge of it, that he might fish from his bedchamber. G. Laing Meason informs us that, at the distance of fourteen centuries, Paulus Jovius, bishop of Nocera, and contemporary with the great painters, built a residence on the Lake of Como, the Palazzo Giovio, on the very site of the Larian Villa of Pliny, part of the foundations of which were visible in the water. He describes his garden bathed by the waters of the lake, his shady woods, green slopes, and sparkling fountains. The villa, besides other rooms, contained a hall; a library, and an apartment adorned with Doric columns, in which hung a collection of portraits of celebrated men, whose lives he wrote. (L. Arch. of Italy.) The descendant of his elder brother Benedetto now inhabits this palace, and possesses the library and collection of portraits nearly in the same state as Paulus Jovius left them, together with a large collection of inedited original letters by the most celebrated men of that age. (Duppa's Observations, &c. p. 113.)