La Mortella

Top choice in Ischia

A symphony of plants, La Mortella (the myrtles) is the former home and gardens of the late British composer William Walton (1902–83) and his Argentine wife, Susana. Designed by Russell Page and inspired by the Moorish gardens of Spain’s Alhambra, it is recognised as one of Italy’s finest botanical gardens. Stroll among terraces, pools, palms, fountains and more than 1000 rare and exotic plants from all over the world.

The lower section of the garden is humid and tropical, while the upper level features Mediterranean plants and beautiful views over Forio and the coast.

The Waltons first came here in 1949 to establish a new home where they subsequently entertained such venerable house guests as Sir Laurence Olivier, Maria Callas and Charlie Chaplin. Walton's life is commemorated in a small on-site museum, while his ashes are buried beneath a monument in the garden's upper reaches. The gardens host chamber-music recitals and concerts and there's also a rather elegant cafe where you can enjoy a cup of tea amid the greenery.

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