The Vatican Gardens were established during the Renaissance and Baroque era and cover about 57 acres. Various sculptures, fountains, trees, vibrant flowerbeds, green lawns, and grottoes fill this picturesque garden. My favorite part of the garden was the Lourdes Grotto. Donated by the French in 1902 to Pope Leo XIII, a statue of The Virgin Mary is framed by bright green American ivy above the grotto donated by Pope John XXIII.
I recognized the different garden types from what I learned in class. We saw an Italian Garden with box hedges clipped into rounded and angular shapes lacking flora.
There are many trees in the garden that were donated over the years by different people visiting the Pope. There were many olive trees in the garden, but most importantly, we saw an olive tree that was planted in 1995 to commemorate the first anniversary of diplomatic relations with Israel.
A bunya-bunya donated from Australia stands by a guava tree from Brazil and a Magnolia from North America. Just before the French Garden lays a heliport lined with azaleas and Australian silk-oak trees. Cedar trees and Redwoods also call the Vatican Garden their home.
I was very surprised to see such a big variety of trees. From palm trees, to cactus, to Redwoods, the Vatican Garden is filled with a plethora of different plants and flowers that create a unique, tranquil, and beautiful place for the Pope and the people of Vatican City to relax.