Emilia Romagna and its “garland” of cities along the Via Emilia was the birthplace of Giovanni Pascoli, a Romagnolo who considered plants to be a vital part of our environment.

Over the centuries, the landscape here has maintained its ancient identity. On the seemingly infinite plains, we feel the effects man has had on the countryside, for example “cavedagne” (ditches lined by rows of trees) along the pre-planned grids of ancient “centuriatio”. In the 16th century, “travelling the Via Emilia and walking its pleasant and beautiful countryside”, historian Leandro Alberti noted that it appeared to be adorned with “vague orders of trees”.

The main organizing element and centre of gravity on country estates was the 16th-century manor house (and its developments, up to and including the 19th century) for farming, leisure and pleasure; roads lined by rows of poplar, oak and acacia converged on these estates on the plains, and cypresses in the hills. This rationalization of the agrarian landscape was echoed in the area’s gardens. Access roads plunge into the countryside, forging close links withthe local area: as gardens extended into the countryside, so the countryside crept into these gardens through fruit trees, pergolas, bushes, and flowers.

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