The Phoenician name for Palermo was zizor tsits(flower) and there are countless historians and writers who have interpreted the ancient Parnormo as the “all-garden” city. From the Arabic Mediterranean garden and the Norman-Sicilian myth of the Conca d’Oro (the “golden basin” where Palermo lies), stemms that splendid narrative that ultimately identifies Palermo with the entire region.
Over the centuries, Sicliy became more and more the embodiment of the myth of a perennial spring set in an “Island of the Sun” where the climate has been a key factor in the definition of new formal and landscaped garden solutions. The island of Sicily is Goethe’s “Island of the Phaeacians” that the extraordinary pictorial cycle in the hall of Villa Igiea celebrates as Garden of the Hesperides.
The early 19th-century naturalist Domenico Scinà wrote that “in autumn, Citrus aurantium bitter orange trees become so laden with flowers and fruits, some green and some golden, that our citrus gardens recall the Gardens of the Hesperides and of the island of Calypso”.