VALSANZIBIO ranges among the most important
and unspoiled baroque gardens in the world. It was achieved
in 1669 by the Venetian nobleman Zuane Francesco Barbarigo.
His son Gregorio, a Cardinal and future Saint, inspired
the symbolic meaning of the plan drawn by Luigi Bernini,
top Vatican architect and fountain expert. Sixty full size
statues, mainly due to Enrico Merengo, and sixty more different
sculptures were integrated into a world of architectures,
streams, fountains, water jokes and fish ponds, between
hundreds of different trees and over an area of forty acres.
All this was planned as an allegory of man's progress towards
his own perfectibility or salvation and such itinerary ends
right in front of the Villa. It begins at Diana's
, originally a stately entrance
as well as a landing place for boats coming across the so-called
"Valle di Saint Eusebio", (whence the name "Val San Zibio").
In those days the "Valle" was an expanse of shallow waters
extended over several miles; a fishing and shooting paradise
recently transformed into a golf course… yet its carefully
preserved vestiges still mirror the elegant pavillion. Here
one enters the garden through "Sileno's Archway", one walks
close to Diana's
Bath (B), Rainbow Fountain (C),
Winds Fish Pond (B)
and quite near the Maze
and a Hermitage, symbolic episodes
related to the example of Saint Gregorio. Then, at the
Pila Fountain (G)
one turns right towards the Villa, following the main
. This wide pat is flanked by a Rabbit'
symbolizing the sphere of Immanence.
On the opposite and east side of that very allee, a monumental
statue of Time(L)
flight across space symbolizes the possibility of trascending
both space and time can, and of reaching higher levels of