A private park in Tuscany | Versilia, Italy | Giuseppe Lunardini Landscape Architect


When Gabriele D’Annunzio composed his wonderful lyric in that summer afternoon of the early years of 1900, this pinewood must have been an enchanted place. Wild but familiar, full of a natural chaos that could soothe a soul even during rainy days. A place capable of transforming two secret lovers into a beautiful fairytale. More than one hundred years have passed but people can still breathe that same atmosphere here in Versilia. And that is how people feel while walking in this pinewood touched by the Fiumetto river also painted by Carlo Carrà in many of his paintings.

The owner fall in love with this damaged pinewood and the manor house at first sight while visiting Versilia in 2007. The owner’s desire was to recreate an oasis of peace in the heart of worldliness, a natural microcosm at the edge of the world.


Through a wise use of the vegetation I have been able to create a green architecture based on prospective research and focal points to create emotions and curiosity in those exploring the garden. As it was going to be a holiday home I decide to use vegetation species that bloom in summer time, between May and September. As the owner preferred blue and white blossomings, we decided together the best ones.

The whole implementation period has lasted for four long years but I managed to transform that abandoned place in such a wonderful location which has also been selected to host some scenes of an Italian movie.


A swimming pool of about 200 sqm has been inserted in a delicate way inside this park, along with a tennis field, big lawns for events of soccer match, a parking area for almost ten cars. I also wanted all these areas to be independent each one from the other and from the manor house and to create large lawns bordered with blossoming and framed by tree trunks as elegant and natural filters.


The same soft division can be felt even from the entrance gate. The owner as a matter of fact decided not to close her garden with a matt gate. On the contrary, she preferred a transparent iron one in order to let her park communicate with the environment (and the close Versiliana park) in a better way. The entrance avenue has been realized in Firenzuola stone which has been treated in different ways and bordered on both sides with Pittosporum tobira, osmanthus (Osmanthus aquifolium), agapanthus (Agapanthus africanus) and hydrangeas (Hydrangea macropyilla).


This soft boulevard opens and closes itself while conducing visitors to the house, crossing a small geometrical square. The stones and their different sizes and shapes recall the tuscany medieval villages. The main point of the whole garden is this very square, where garden and house meet each other, the place from where it is possible to reach every other green room of the park. Its main characteristic are the two green parterres with grasses (Carex, Pennisteum alopecuroides) to break the rigidity of the square with its soft shapes.


Since now I have not been talking about the other areas of the park: swimming pool, tennis field, lawns, parking area. Those areas need to be discovered, you can’t see them from without walking inside the park. And here it is the swimming pool: a big tank which leaves one of the short sides open, offering visitors a fine stone weir on a bed of pebbles. In this way the swimming pool is strongly linked with the surrounding environment aiming to be part of it. For this reason I only used natural material as grey stone, sandstone for the walls, river gravel and wood.


Despite its huge dimensions the swimming pool is not felt as a foreign and noisy element. On the contrary it recalls the theme of water inside the garden and becomes a water feature from the entrance point of view. Particularly it remind us of old washhouses placed along the rivers of this territory.


By walking around the house there are huge massive bushes of white and sky-blue hydrangeas (Hydrangea arborescens e macrophylla) who accompany the visitor to the parking area, paved in reinforced grass. Even if each part of the garden is closed in an almost secret “room”, the overall perception is that of a totally free and open space, where the big trunks of pinetrees seem to accompany in a cheerful dances D’Annunzio used to write about in his most famous poem.



Landscapes of art – A private park in Tuscany
Location | Forte dei Marmi – Versilia (Tuscany)
Dimensions | 9,000 sqm (whole property)
Paths, surfaces and green areas | 7,750 sqm

Firm | Giuseppe Lunardini Landscape Architect

Consultants |
Project team | G. Lunardini, Landscape Architect
G. Sani, Architect
E. A.M. Varetti, Architect
D. Togneri, Surveyor

General contractor | MEGIP srl
Garden furniture | Interni Now
Light system | Bega
Irrigation system | Toro

Image & Text Credits | Giuseppe Lunardini Landscape Architect

About Damian Holmes 3232 Articles
Damian Holmes is the Founder and Editor of World Landscape Architecture (WLA). He is a registered landscape architect (AILA) working in international design practice in Australia. Damian founded WLA in 2007 to provide a website for landscape architects written by landscape architects. Connect on Linkedin at https://www.linkedin.com/in/damianholmes/