The Biviere of the Borghese Family in Lentini
Le Biviere houses, owned by the family Bourgeois, one of the most illustrious and ancient Italian families, are located halfway between Catania and Syracuse, in the territory of Lentini.
The place, today declared of historical-artistic-architectural interest particularly important by the Ministry of Cultural Heritage, housed the ancient Lago del Biviere, whose origins are even traced back to Hercules, son of Jupiter, who created the Lacuus Herculeus for the Goddess Ceres, who needed water for her crops. Over the centuries, the lake changed its name to Veverè or the trough of flocks and fish nursery, then Beverè and finally Biviere.
After centuries of prosperity because the lake was very fishy, the malaria raging made these areas unhealthy since the end of the nineteenth century, they were affected by an imposing remediation work completed only at the end of the 50 years. In 1968, together with their 4 children, the Scipione and Maria Carla Principles moved there with the idea of creating acitrus company.
Inside the fiefdom there are still today the Church dedicated to Sant'Andrea and two large housing units as well as one Exotic-Mediterranean garden of about 2 hectares.
The main house dates back to the sixteenth century and is located in front of the ancient pier where once stood the tenements used as a fishing center. Also known as Villa Borghese, it was certainly built before the 1693 year when the earthquake that struck eastern Sicily damaged its facades. Located perpendicular to the driveway, it is organized according to an "L" planimetric scheme.
Along the driveway east of the manor house, there is the Chapel dedicated to Sant Andrea, patron saint of fishermen, which was rebuilt in 1694 immediately after the terrible earthquake.
Finally, continuing north along the driveway, there is the Hunters Inn, built after the 1693, on two levels, which has kept intact the internal structure typical of the "hotels" of the era.
In front of the House where the fish was worked there is the ancient port which, emptied by its waters, was transformed thanks to Miki Borghese in a "verdant harbor", as an Irish architect of gardens wrote. The ancient piers in fact, built with large blocks of white stone extracted from the surrounding tuff quarries, were the first to be recovered to accommodate a rich collection of succulents.
The Garden was born from nothing, or better, from what was left after the tiring and long works of drying up the lake. It was precisely the Princess Miki who with great love, passion, dedication and tenacity began to plant the first seedlings in a very inhospitable, desolate place, made only of stones and dust. Thanks to love, to the rich soil before hosting a lake, and to the sun and light of Sicily, in a few years the Garden came to life.
In the 1988 the Garden had the honor of being visited by the Queen Mother of England, who specifically asked to see him. The admiration of the Sovereign was such as to induce the Borghese princes to make the "garden that was not there" open to visitors.
Il Garden of the Biviere has today become one lush Mediterranean garden where indigenous and neutralized forms coexist in harmony. The austere shapes of the succulent plants that lead back to the Renaissance sculptures alternate, in fact, to the lightness of the Gelsomini and the Plumbago that recall, instead, the spontaneity and naturalness of the English gardens.
The history of the Biviere, a unique Mediterranean garden
The reconstruction of the historical phases that took place over time and which led to the current state of the Case del Biviere di Lentini can be hypothesized, for the most ancient period, through the history of the formation and subsequent modifications that have been made to the Lake del Biviere from the Middle Ages. The references referable to the lake reported by the most ancient historical sources can be placed between the end of the twelfth and the beginning of the thirteenth century when the Templars, following a donation made by Rainaldo di Modica, with the consent of Henry VI and Constance of 'Altavilla, received some land in the territory of Lentini. The monks-riders, to create a large reserve to be used for hunting and fishing, barred, initially with precarious works, the waters of the river Trigona-Galici, before their conjunction with the river San Leonardo. Confirmation of the donation is attested by a diploma from 1210, from which it can be deduced that the territory is exactly the one in which the Biviere was included.
Visit the garden and the organic and biodynamic farm
We offer guided and experiential visits of our Garden and our "Il Biviere" Organic and Biodynamic Farm.
Il Giardino del Biviere is a magical and full of charm, rich in nature botanical species from all over the world. The visitor is lost in a timeless place, made of colors and inebriating perfumes, where Nature is at its maximum splendor.
Discover the organic products of the farm
The Agricultural company is organic from 1993 and produces and packages all kinds of citrus fruits (blond, red oranges, pink grapefruits, clementines and lemons) and, to a lesser extent, peaches. Another company product is the organic honey with orange blossom, delicious and rich in important nutritive elements.
Cooking and yoga lessons
On request and depending on the time of year we also propose cooking class, yoga retreat and workshops on topics related to the well-being of the whole person: body, emotions, mind and spirit.
Biviere Borghese: a place of synergies between man and nature
Visits by reservation. Price of the visit: 15 €
Possibility to have lunch (90 €), brunch (65 €), breakfast (30 €).