The restoration of the Royal Gardens

The Royal Gardens of Venice, once again connected to Piazza San Marco, cover an area of approximately 5,000 square meters, fronting onto Bacino di San Marco. They are surrounded by canals which are also overlooked by the Correr Museum, the imperial chambers of the Royal Palace, the Archeological Museum and the Marciana Library.
Starting in the 1950s, the balanced rapport between the Napoleonic gardens, whose importance had been a source of pride for the city throughout the nineteenth century, and the buildings adjacent to them, progressively deteriorated. For several decades they were in a state of advanced dereliction, to the extent that the garden’s layout and composition had become nearly illegible. The neoclassical pavilion built by the architect Lorenzo Santi between 1816 and 1817 was seriously damaged in several points, while the cast-iron nineteenth-century pergola and the Gardens’ railings and historic drawbridge were in ruins, as were incongruous buildings constructed there over the years.
To stop the progressive deterioration of a site of outstanding historic and natural value, in December 2014 the State Property Office and the City of Venice ceded the Monumental Complex of the Royal Gardens to the Venice Gardens Foundation so that it would oversee its restoration and ensure its future conservation.
Between 2015 and 2019 the Gardens underwent complex restoration, carried out by the Foundation and planned by the gardener and landscape architect Paolo Pejrone, student of Russell Page and Roberto Burle-Marx, while architectural renovation and the rebuilding of the greenhouse was planned by architect Alberto Torsello, based on a project drawn up by Carlo Aymonino and Gabriella Barbini.
Reopened in December 2019, the Royal Gardens, rich in unexpected perspectives and luxuriant growth, have reacquired their formal excellence and botanical complexity, in coherence with their historic nineteenth-century design.
To carry out its first project, the Venice Gardens Foundation signed a partnership agreement with Assicurazioni Generali regarding the restoration and promotion of the Royal Gardens, with the shared goal of reclaiming an element of historic and artistic importance in the Piazza San Marco area.