Whoever has been to Verbania, on Lake Maggiore, for a long time or even only for a summer afternoon has certainly visited the Botanical Gardens of Villa Taranto. Coming into the gardens of Villa Taranto is just like travelling through foreign lands.
The gardens were established 1931-1940 by Scotsman Neil Boyd McEacharn.
He firstly bought an existing villa with its neighbouring estates and then undertook substantial changes to the landscape, including the addition of major water features employing 8 km of pipes. He then set the name “Villa Taranto” in honour of his ancestor Etienne Jacques Joseph Alexandre MacDonald, named Duke of Taranto by Napoleon.
They opened to the public in 1952 and after McEacharn’s death in 1964 have been run by a non-profit organization which preserves this incomparable botanical treasure and its natural beauties. A visit to Villa Taranto is therefore a must at Lake Maggiore since these gardens reward the visitor with seasonal beauty and natural sceneries.