Probably the most enigmatic garden in Europe, the Sacred Wood at Bomarzo in central Italy has been called extravagant, mysterious, unholy, surrealist, fascinating and good fun, but it has never been perfectly understood – which is possibly just as its creator intended.
The recurring theme of the ornamentation in the garden is the struggle of man's soul to distinguish between earthly and divine love, to see what is real and what illusion. Drawing on familiar figures from classical literature and contemporary Italian works, Vicino poses challenges to his audience, forcing an intellectual as well as an aesthetic response to the complex landscape of Bomarzo.
The pick of the coffee-table books this Christmas. - Independent on Sunday
An attractive book, beautifully produced and intelligently written, and to be recommended to all who wish to visit Bomarzo. - Garden History
This is garden history at its best, and a stirring story of an interesting man of plants, sculpture and letters. The excellent text is matched by sensitive photography by Mark Edward Smith who captures the shady mysteries of the palace and the dappled groves of the garden, You could not do better than to read this if you intend visiting Bomarzo and it is surely a good consolation, if you are not able to go. - Museum of Garden History magazine
Binding: Hardback, 128 pages ISBN: 9780711226739 Format: 305mm x 250mm
80 colour photographs and archive illustrations