From the ditch to the garden construction
In Medieval times, the castle was surrounded on all four sides by a moat and there was no garden.
The first records of greenery planted around the Rocca date from 1542 when a small-sized park area was fenced in. In the 18th century, on the contrary, due to the sensitivity of the Meli Lupi family and their patronage of the arts, together with the work of artists such as Giovanbattista Bettoli, a large Italian-style garden already stretched northwards, ending in a boundary wall dotted with niches holding the statues that currently adorn the various areas of the garden.
The area devoted to greenery was further increased by four hectares in 1781, and it was subsequently converted to an English-style park in 1833 by the architect Luigi Voghera of Cremona.
One of the most significant attractions of the garden is an extremely large American walnut tree (Juglans nigra).
The ‘Café-Haus’, a small neo-classical style building, is also worth visiting. Various areas of the gardens are adorned by statues of Hercules, Minerva and other mythological divinities, as well as various Baroque-style marble remains that have been placed amongst the trees. At the front there is a fine neo-classical glasshouse where other statues have been placed, including an Arcadian shepherd boy, purchased relatively recently and placed amongst the rose beds. Not far away is a lovely artificial lake, surrounded by trees and ornamented, at its centre, by the Island of Love and by two knolls with grottoes decorated with stalactites and stalagmites.
The garden is accessed from the Bocchirale Room by descending a double staircase, at the sides of which stand six statues representing the River Nile and River Gange and the four seasons. All the statues in the garden, with the exception of the Arcadian shepherd boy, were sculpted in Venice on behalf of Marchese Giuseppe Meli Lupi.