Botanical Park Gambarogno
The Botanical Park Gambarogno is located in Vairano-San Nazzaro and is known for its collection of camellias and magnolias, one of the richest in Europe. In fact, thanks to its hillside position, to the soil and to the climate, over 950 varieties of camellias and almost equally as many magnolias, prosper in the park. There are also many rare species such as azaleas, rhododendrons and other ornamental flowers. The flowering occurs over a period of a few months but the most opportune time to visit is during the spring: from March to May the park is a jubilation of flower corollas. The view of the Lake Maggiore and the Alps is priceless.
The park is spread on the brow of the hill and on steep slopes of a small valley where two idyllic creeks flow. The local climate is characterized by sunny summers and sunless cold winters, ideal for the cultivation of camellias, rhododendrons, azaleas and magnolias.
The park originated in 1955 when the nursery gardener Otto Eisenhut bought the land and founded a gardening business. He initially grew Christmas trees and later branched out into a nursery business. What opened his horizons was his encounter with two interesting personalities: Sir Peter Smithers, ex Secretary General of the Council of Europe and owner of a magnificent park in Vico Morcote, and Piet Van Veen, a retired dentist of Dutch origin, with a passion for magnolias, camellias and irises. Moved by great zeal, Eisenhut thenceforth started expanding his assortment dedicating all his free time to the park while continuing his gardening business. "Today - he recounts - I have friends and correspondents all over the world who send me cuttings for grafting and also clients with requests for rare varieties." Since 2000, the Foundation Parco Botanico del Gambarogno preserves the value of the park and ensures the posterity of this precious landscape.
(Re-elaborated text from "Ticino Parks and Gardens" - Ticino Tourism)