where time stands
Villa Reimann enjoys a unique view of Siracusa: on one side faces the sea along Porto Grande; on the other is completely immersed in an incredible 35.000 sqm park.
Within the Villa you can admire the “Exotic Garden”, which in years keeps the classical charm of the Italian-style gardens.
The Villa is situated within a green area nearby the Neapolis Archaeological Park, and was built by Senator Cocuzza in tribute to the Spanish singer Fegotto in 1881. Originally the property was extended 27.000 sqm with around 500 hundreds of lemon and many fruit trees. The whole estate was sold to Christiane Reimann on 6th February 1934; she was a Danish nurse who lived there until 1979. The guest-house is a two-storey building: on the ground floor there was the depot and on the first floor were located servant accommodations. Today, however, the ground floor is used as meetings location while on the first floor there are some municipal offices.
ABOUT CHRISTIANE REIMANN
Christiane Reimann was born in Copenaghen in 1888 as daughter of a rich stockbroker father and a Norwegian mother.
We are not sure about his childhood and her education, but certainly she had a determined and surly nature because she studied and worked as a nurse in New York despite her family opposition.
Due to the high levels of professionalism reached and her love for archaeology and natural beauties, she toured the world.
She became such an important character so that she was honoured with an international award: the Christiane Reimann Prize.
Then she fell in love with Carl Frederik Alter, a psychiatrist, who convinced her to live with him in Siracusa. But their relationship was troubled and ended soon. Even so Christiane decided to remain in Sicily and live in her own property: today’s Villa Reimann.
The noble Danish woman used to taking care of the citrus grove and garden, where she found out a Necropolis. So she organized and planned the works needed to uncover it.
When Italy entered in war and Denmark was occupied by Hitler, Miss Reimann had to move to the nearest Floridia because she was viewed with distrust by city authorities.
It got better when the allies landed in Sicily but the Villa, together with all other in town, was requisitioned. Thanks to Danish Deputaion Christiane was able to live in her property but in two rooms only, working as English Commander private secretary.
After the war the Villa has been slowly restored because of the severe damages.
Christiane Reimann died on 12th April 1968. Her funeral took place in Santa Lucia alla Badia Church with very few people. Currently she lies at the Monumental Cemetery in Siracusa; the city council realized her funerary monument in partnership with Italia Nostra Association.
The park extends for approximately 16.000 sqm and it is completely surrounded by cypress and olive trees which isolate it away from the city.
In the northern area there is the “Hesperides Garden”, desired by Miss Reimann, bordered by a long citrus-grove-lined avenue.
On the south side of the Villa there is the collection within the Exotic Garden, consisting in a fountain surrounded by a double flowerbeds series, according to the classical Italian-style garden.
The Villa also includes some rest areas with tables, benches and flowerpots.
Along the paths you can find some columns with Greek mythological sculptures. All architectural elements are made of natural stones and carved by hand.
Garden collection has about 150 botanic samples, planted in land and in pots. There are about a thousand single vegetables with an impressive scientific, natural and educational importance.
The big flowerbed just at the Villa’s entrance is especially noticeable: it contains several and remarkable flourishing plant species.
Miss Reimann ordered the construction of a panoramic viewpoint inside the Exotic Garden. Was realized a small tower with a stone spiral staircase, surrounded by different succulent species. Then was placed a little wooden gazebo to observe the panorama up until Ortigia Island, the extreme part of Siracusa. Moreover, on the top of the pagoda cover was added a little personalized wind vane.
Via Necropoli Grotticelle, 14, Siracusa, SR, 96100
tel. +39 0931 17 91 103
Erga has implemented a sustainable management system that is adequate for its size and scope. Its organization complies with all the regulations in force at local, national and international level, with particular reference, among others, to health, safety, work and environmental aspects. Erga undertakes to respect and enforce the rules of conduct appropriate to the places visited, the sea, nature reserves and places of worship. Particular attention should be paid to avoiding waste in the environment and, where existing, to respect the rules of separate collection.
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