La Mortella Gardens
Gardens of music and art: La Mortella in Forio
La Mortella gardens are in Forio, just outside the historical centre in the exclusive Zaro residential neighbourhood surrounded by Mediterranean maquis.
This is one of the most popular botanical parks in Italy, with an extraordinary collection of rare plants, including the wonderful Victoria amazonica water lily. Given its unique orography, its gardens are spread over two levels: a lower zone and an upper zone, linked by stone steps.
From the 1950s onwards, La Mortella was home to the British composer William Walton and his wife Lady Susanna. The park still contains the villa occupied by the couple, along with various other buildings, including a chamber music hall, an amphitheatre for outdoor performances and symphony music concerts, and a delightful bar.
Various fountains, ponds and water features line the paths around the gardens. There are also numerous hothouses were you can see tropical plants, hummingbirds and butterflies. There is a public bus stop around 300 metres from the entrance to La Mortella.
Chamber and symphony music concerts, opera performances and cultural events are held at the gardens throughout the open season.