A charming stately residence set the shores of Lake Garda, this villa has welcomed illustrious guests such as Giacomo Puccini, Victor Hugo and Giuseppe Garibaldi. Its gardens are a combination of rigorous geometrical patterns and Baroque creativity, testifying to the historical connection with the Alto Garda agricultural landscape, of which the limonaie (lemon tree greenhouses) are notable component.

Built by the Veronese architect Adriano Cristofoli and completed by Antonio Marchetti, this villa belonging to the Counts Bettoni is a reflection of classic early-18th-century atmospheres. A large parterrebordered by two longitudinal buildings and a terrace separate the main facade from the lake. At the back of the building, on the other side of the lakeside road that separates the building from the park, a fan-shaped formal garden spreads out and continues on the slope of the hill. This area, designed by Florentine architect Amerigo Vincenzo Pierallini between 1764 and 1768, is dominated by a large exedra with a double flight of steps, bordered on the valley side by a wrought iron gate. On the sides of the exedra parts of the characteristic limonaie (lemon tree greenhouses) are still present and have been included in the scenographic perspective characterised by an imposing baroque staircase with a splendid 17th-century grotto inside it. At the top of the garden, further up the hill, at the end of a greenery perspective bordered by cypress and bay trees, there should have been a temple dedicated to Apollo that was never built. Beyond and past the hedges of the exedra there are olive groves, vineyards and numerous bay trees all extraordinarily integrated in the garden plan. A system of fountains, once embellished by water features and numerous sculptural groups add further refinement to these spaces. Allegories of Charity and Glory, as well as Strength, Honour, Fidelity and Prudence are a reference to the owners’ moral virtues. A cohesive iconographic project connects the garden to the villa, making Villa Bettoni a monumental complex on a par with the grand European residences.