Situated behind the Zoja Thermal Spa, this verdant oasis in the centre of town was created in the early 1900s with the aim of making guests’ stay in the renowned thermal spa resort as pleasant as possible.
Initially named “Regina Margherita Park” after Queen Margherita of Savoy, once a regular visitor to the town, it still features many elements from the original 1912 design by Turin-born landscape architect Giuseppe Roda (1866-1951).
The park, which displays a meticulous geometric design in keeping with the style of Italian gardens, is encircled by a large ring; inside are pathways and flowerbeds edged with low, evergreen boxwood hedges that trace sweeping Liberty- style curved lines, in addition to several elements reminiscent of typical oriental design, including a pagoda and a lake. The planting, water and rocks create an asymmetrical garden of contemplation.
Many of the trees date back to when the park was originally planted out: the botanic route “Alberi della Regina” (The Queen’s Trees) lets visitors discover the different species of secular trees. In the open space in the centre of the park stands the bust of Giuseppe Mazzini, while other statues of classical figures are dotted around the rest of the park. The area also features a number of facilities including mini golf, bowls and a children’s playground, as well as the Zoja thermal spa complex.
In 1925 the pond and the pagoda were the setting of the performance “Madama Butterfly” in memory of Giacomi Puccini who died the year before.
Aerial photos kindly granted by photographer Matteo Orlandi from Salsomaggiore Terme
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