The Gardens of Peripato in Taranto

The Site

The Gardens of Peripato are located in the Italian town of Taranto and are a five acres large green space in the heart of the modern part of the city. 

Initially, the knight Louis de Beaumont bought two gardens around 1863 and commissioned the architect Antonio Criscuolo from Naples to combine them with a villa. Villa Beaumont and its gardens were then bought by the town council in 1913 and transformed into the "Public Gardens of Peripato" (designed by Egidio Salvi), which made them accessible to the general public. 

Although much modified, the Gardens of Peripato feature typical Italian plants: One can find well-grown cypress trees as well as plants such as Washingtonia, which are arranged in a semi-circle in the garden. The eastern part of the garden includes a children's playground. 

Villa Peripato falls under the category of “villas Puglia municipal”. These Apulian “ville comunali” are public gardens originating from the first half of the nineteenth century where they became essential parts in town planning. Laid out at the outskirts of the town, the Gardens of Peripato represent today a connection point between the old town centre and todays modern city. The gardens are furthermore a symbol for the introduction of public green spaces in Apulian cities. 

Project Outcome

The site-specific project outcome is particularly the promotion of the specificity of the garden and thereof the aspect of conservation and environmental preservation. This would allow the garden to become part of a tourism development project in the city which not only includes the garden, but many other cultural sites of the city such as the old town, the National Archaeological Museum of Taranto (MARTA), the State Historical Archive, the old swivel bridge and the castle. 

The Region

The Region of Apulia is located in the Southern part of Italy and stretches out 800 kilometers along the coast of the Adriatic and Ionian Sea. For administrative purposes, the region is divided into the provinces of Foggia, Barletta-Andria-Trani, Bari, Taranto, Brindisi and Lecce.

Its natural landscape varies as it can be high and rocky in some zones and open with long sandy beaches in other parts. Apart from its natural diversity, Apulia is rich in art and cultural treasures due to its historical importance as cross road for many civilizations. The Romans, Lombards, Byzantines, Normans, Swabians and Angevins are only a few that have left their traces in the region. The peculiar light in this region creates a unique atmosphere and that combined with stone has created the myth around Apulia’s cathedrals such as the Cathedral of Trani, the Cathedral of Ruvo, or of Molfetta. Besides cathedrals, historical castles and fortifications are to be found in the region.