A paradise of biodiversity at the foot of Saluzzo Hill, Villa Bricherasio constitutes a veritable “world tour” through multiple landscapes, all within a small botanical garden against the nearby backdrop of the Cottian Alps.

We owe this extraordinary garden, which combines a scientific approach with a strong appreciation for landscape, to thirty years of passion: Domenico Montevecchi, a Saluzzo fruit grower, has planted more than thirty-six thousand specimens of some two thousand botanical species from all five continents in a garden little more than one hectare in size. The surrounding hills protect Villa Bricherasio from the cold mountain winds, creating a mild microclimate favourable to rare and delicate species. The garden is divided into three distinct phytoclimatic zones: Mediterranean, cold temperate, and continental. It is particularly striking to see them side-by-side, especially considering that some of the species planted here are, in nature, usually thousands of kilometres apart. In summer, the ponds bordered by giant Gunnera manicata leaves become filled with Victoria‘Longwood Hybrid’ and Euryale ferox water lilies. The gardens are also ablaze with blooming English roses, climbers and shrubs. The garden’s collections of hydrangeas, camellias, elderberries and grasses are another of its hallmark attractions. The “alpineto”, a complex of rocky beds that mimic a natural mountain environment with small hillocks and valleys in a variety of exposures, hosts around a thousand species from the Crassulaceae family. Specimens of camphor tree, cocoa tree, Kashmir cypress, palm and eucalyptus from Tasmania and New Zealand make up just some of the garden’s precious arboreal plants.