A local craftsman took over 20 years to create an enchanting zen garden in Anzola d’Ossola

Giardino Zen di Anzola d’Ossola‘ this is the name of the charming niche of Japan located between the few houses of Anzola d’Ossola. With a population of about 400 people, the village is in a small alluvial plain near the Toce River, in the province of Verbania, in the north-east corner of Piedmont.

Here, 20 years ago, Alberto Castiglioni, a craftsman with a passion for gardens, begun working on what became a perfect Japanese garden. He developed the idea with his brother-in-law Gianni Cara, who teaches the art of bonsai all over Italy

The Japanese gardens are an ancient tradition that dates back over a thousand years. Since then, they have always been accurately designed for both aesthetic pleasure and recreation.


They also have a symbolic role with decorative and evocative functions.

This is to allow visitors to come into contact with nature experiencing a deep sense of harmony and inner peace. Indeed, in Japanese culture, gardens are places of reflection and psycho-physical well-being. The entire space is designed to recreate ideal landscapes even in very small areas. In them, each element, even the one that seems to be the most insignificant, has the purpose of recreating the sense of balance given by nature with its main elements, trees, water, and rocks.

Admiring characteristic Koi fish in a pond, blooming azaleas, finely shaped trees, and a zen garden while listening to oriental music, one could swear to be in the Far East. A special location where shapes, balances, and harmony are the principles that become tangible. And it is possible to breathe them in as a form of contemplation and meditation.  Among the selected Japanese maples and pines, there is also a pear tree. Castiglioni explains: “This is not oriental but it belonged to my grandfather. I was attached to it“.

Ilona Catani Scarlett

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