Villa Arbusto and the Garden
Renowned throughout the island for its majestic, imposing architecture and setting since the eighteenth century when it became the residence of the Duke of Atri, Villa Arbusto was bought by the famous publisher and film producer Angelo Rizzoli in 1952 who chose it as his home on the island of Ischia. Rare and original plants and trees from all five continents constitute just a part of the legacy left by Rizzoli who turned the garden of Villa Arbusto into one of the site’s many attractions.
The garden is still one of the most beautiful parks on the island, open to visitors together with the museum displays. “A pleasant example of botanical cosmopolitanism,” was the definition given to it by Professor Giuseppe Sollino, the author of a study of the botanical features of Villa Arbusto. “The garden is unique in terms of its structure, exposure and the variety of plants”.
Villa Arbusto has a wide range of plants and trees including strawberry tree (arbutus unedo), a typical example of Mediterranean flora that grows throughout the park area, shrubs and trees such as bay, olive, fig, carob, pomegranate, oleander, cypress and several species of Italian stone pine or umbrella pine (pinus pinea), the symbol of Ischia (known as the Green Isle – Isola Verde). The garden is home to numerous exotic plant species from Australia, America and Asia such as magnolia, casuarina, camphor tree, eucalyptus, anchor plant (colletia cruciate), jacaranda, Brazilian feijoa, calliandra, erythrina, agave, crape myrtle (lagerstroemia), sweet acacia, coast banksia (banksia integrifolia), ginkgo biloba, hibiscus, abelia, pittosporum, rosa banksiae, and Ceiba Speciosa.
From spring to autumn, the garden of Villa Arbusto is a triumph of unforgettable colours and scents. A description of the wealth of species, planted with admirable harmony, cannot do justice to its beauty which can only be fully appreciated by an actual visit.