The Garden Guide

Book: History of Garden Design and Gardening
Chapter: Chapter 3: European Gardens (500AD-1850)

Italian Villa Gardens

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101.The Italians when they speak of the villa do not mean the house, which is the palazzo, palazzino, or casino, but the whole inclosure, containing, besides the small place appropriated merely to pleasure and show, a large garden cultivated for profit; and frequently vineyards, olive grounds, and cornfields. It was disputed at a Roman academy what constituted the difference between a villa and a vigna; and it was decided that they are the same thing. The ornamental part usually consists of a few terrace walks, with clipped edges of bay, or sometimes shaded with ilex (Quercus I'lex); and it is only a few of the principal, immediately about Rome, which considerably differ from this description. (Wood's Letters, &c., vol. ii. p. 83.)