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The Secret Havens: Venice's Hidden Parks and Gardens

Venice's hidden gems: tranquil parks and gardens are kept secret from the typical tourist route.

Most tourists believe that greenery and nature appear to be largely absent from Venice, at least at first glance but if they'd only take a closer look, they'd find, hidden away in secret corners, some really lovely parks and gardens.

Make time for a little peace and quiet away from the maddening crowds in these green havens, loved by Venetians for centuries.

They are listed from the ones I like best to those I like least (I still like them though).

The Royal Gardens in VeniceThe Royal Gardens in Venice

The Giardinetti Reali (Royal Gardens)

Napoleon got this park off the ground when he wanted a view of some greenery from his office. Perhaps he wanted something to remind him of the great parks of Paris and the style is definitely French. I love escaping the crowds of St Mark's Square and walking into these gardens. The noise, the hustle and bustle, all fade to silence. The sounds of birds and the summer breeze rustling leaves replace the chaos. I find a bench under the pergola of wisteria and put away my phone. I take out a favorite book and simply relax into a place of peace and tranquility.

The park is just a short walk away from St Marks square. From the square walk down towards the water. Once you reach the water, turn right and it is just near the Piazza San Marco vaporetto stop. The photo above was taken in the park.

Parco delle Rimembranze (Gardens of Remembrance)

Parco della Remembranza Venice

The place where Venetian families come on the weekend to picnic. On summer weekends, it is full of families enjoying a day out, kids playing ball games and young, and not so young, lovers strolling arm in arm. In the evening, the view from the park, looking across to the island of San Giorgio Maggiore, is gorgeous.

Originally created as a garden to remember soldiers who fell in the Second World War, the park still hosts commemorative events of those times.

Getting to the park requires a fairly long walk from St Marks Square along the Riva degli Schiavoni. The walk takes about an hour but it is a very pleasant walk along the waterfront and a great way to pass the time and a chance to see some Venice attractions that you might otherwise miss.

Chiostro San Francesco della Vigna - Castello, Venice

I wasn’t sure whether to put this park second or even first. In the end I settled for third place only because it is not very big and is more a garden than a park. Situated at the top of the Castello district this is the perfect place to find a moment of peace and in that respect, it beats all the others easily: in all the many times I've visited, even in July, I've never seen another soul around. 

The gardens are the cloister gardens of San Francesco della Vigna church, itself one of the most impressive works by the great architect Palladio. The cloister gardens are enclosed by graceful arcades adorned with intricate stonework; stepping inside, you are greeted by fragrant blossoms and the soothing sound of trickling fountains.

Originally designed in the Renaissance era, the gardens have retained their timeless charm, providing a peaceful retreat for contemplation and relaxation. Ancient stone benches offer inviting spots to sit and admire the architectural beauty that surrounds them.

Campo Santa Margherita - Dorsoduro, Venice Italy

Situated in Dorsoduro, the Campo Santa Margherita is a pleasant place. It's not really a park, but a piazza with a lovely tree in the middle, It is often full of students from the nearby university leading to a a vibrant and colorful atmosphere.

The hustle and bustle of a morning at the square's fresh produce market can be followed by an afternoon relaxing, eating ice cream or having lunch at one of the good restaurants on the edge of the park. The restaurants around here are often reasonably priced compared to the other more touristy parts of Venice.

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