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The "La Mortella" Gardens

A really "royal" botanical park. A few years ago, Charles of England visited this area and was really struck by the beauty of the gardens and the extraordinary collection of plants.

And one must remember that the English people, especially the royal family, are truly connoisseurs of plants! How can one ignore the pure beauty that emanate from each corner of this green wonder? Here is the story of the origin of these gardens: William Walton, the English composer, visited Ischia after the war and fell in love with it, so he decided to move to the island. Walton purchased a piece of land on the hill of Zaro, in Forio, and he created for his wife Susana a house and an enchanting garden.

In order to make the place even more beautiful, Walton contacted the landscape architect Russel Page, who designed a wonderful park. The collection of plants of the Mortella kept growing, and, one day, somebody mentioned to the prestigious couple that it was a shame that other people could not admire the beauty of the garden. So, Walton and his wife opened the park to visitors. Today husband and wife are not around anymore but, in memory of the couple, the Walton Foundation continues to operate. The garden contains collections of plants which are native of many countries, like the treelike ferns of the southern continent, the Protee and Aloe from South Africa, and the Joshua trees. The Mortella is divided in two parts: A lower garden in the valley, and an upper garden on the hill. The Mortella stretches for about 2 hectares and hosts a collection of over 3000 species of exotic and rare plants.

Among the most beautiful plants of the collection is the Victoria Amazonica, a very rare Brazilian water lily, kept in a greenhouse. Since William Walton was a famous composer, the Mortella is also a park of music: On the opening season (from Easter to October), small and big concerts are organized in the gardens. Among other things, the park contains an amphitheatre for symphony concerts.

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