Let's travel together #194 - I Giardini Di Zoe (Banpotoc Gardens)

A little piece of Italy comes with beauty and layers of green which most likely will seem boring to the locals of the country, but which can be found on the lands of Romania that are creating a completely new face to the western side of Transylvania.


Not for a few times, I mentioned that I've never travelled abroad except in 2019 when for 3 days I was in Barcelona and it was a great experience that I would repeat anytime, but until I'll be able to explore other countries than mine, I take the mission seriously of trying to discover every single part of my home country and even promote it further.
This aspect led me and my family to countless unknown locations which I consider a real gem and rarity for the country, but that are barely known by people - which is kind of sad.
However, a thing that I learned is that all you have to do is to dig deep into the wildest and most hidden places of your country and you will discover plenty of cool things, either very similar to the famous places from foreign countries or even some which are unique in Europe or in the world.
Visiting I Giardini Di Zoe came with an Italian feeling, making us forget for a moment that we are still in Romania and not explore some unknown paths from Italy, and also with a lot of cool formations, layers of green and great things any eyes would love to see by themselves.

And when I say that the gardens from Banpotoc really manage to offer an Italian feeling to any tourist, I'm not talking only about its name, but actually about the whole thing they create while the heavenish place was made by a genuine Italian for his niece.


The single thing I regret about this journey is that we picked the wrong moment when to visit it because it was close to the Easter Holidays and so there were a lot of people around which made us pay less attention to the whole beauty, being distracted by the tens of people who were walking everywhere like tiny rows of ants.

Anyway, I can't complain too much about this aspect, because we still got to taste a beautiful feeling even from the main alley which leads you to the garden that can be easily considered a little paradise.
The gardens created by Giovanni Salvatelli are the real proof that creativity and a little crafting skills are the single limit in order to reach the hearts of a lot of people, and when you also add the love you have for your family whom the whole creation is dedicated to, everything comes with a completely different energy.
Giovanni Salvatelli is a businessman who decided to create an incredible place for his niece, just a few km away from Deva city, because yes, as incredible as the whole place looks like, keep in mind that the gardens are located in a tiny village forgotten by most of the people, and not in one of the main cities of Romania as everybody would expect.
There are countless ornamental trees and shrubs placed carefully in very strategic places, artesian wells mostly dominated by different species of birds during a hot day of the summer, everything being perfectly completed by various layers of green and geometrical shapes that are contributing to making you feel like you slowly became part of a fairy tale rather than a sightseeing attraction from a village of Transylvania.

Depending on the period you are visiting I Giardini Di Zoe you can either find a place where to relax for a while and have your eyes smiling at the beautiful landscape they get to see, or even enjoy taking pictures of the colourful nature which is dressing up other clothes during the autumn seasons.


Aerial view over the garden
Source: igiardinidizoe.ro


The best part of the whole garden is that everything was created from pure passion and love by a simple man, without any studies on this field or any advice received from landscape architects.
Giovanni began his living in Romania around 18 years ago when he left behind Ancora, a central part of the Italy where he used to live. He had a company of shoes, and, at first, he wanted to put his hands on the location from Romania just to have a place where to return whenever he needed to relax, but the time had other plans for him making the man turn everything into a real industry and place where tourists are falling in love with.

The main alley to the garden is surrounded by wax cherry trees which are welcoming everyone is crossing by with lots of spectacular colours during the early spring, which are leading you to a completely new world, well defined by shapes and layers of colours, where no matter how much you are looking for, you won't find any blade of grass in a random direction or having a different size than the others, because I Giardini Di Zoe is not just a simple garden, but actually a puzzle where every single piece has to fit perfectly.
Even if the garden seems quite big, you don't need to much time to explore it entirely because the narrow paths are well arranged to help you have a proper tour without missing anything, where the main attraction is determined by the three fountains placed in the middle of the square plan of Renaissance inspiration.
Every single plant which is growing up on the Italian garden from Romania has it's own story, the roses being from Italy, the colorful shrubs being brought from Hungary and some trees coming from The Botanical Garden of Simeria (Romania).

However, even if we are talking about a garden where inevitably you will think of trees and flowers, from time to time you will also discover all king of decorative objects which were also brought from Italy and are made of volcanic rocks, travertine or even marble.


After you finish the journey through I Giardini Di Zoe, if you feel like it wasn't enough, keep in mind that the businessman has recently planted another surface of trees and it's planning to enlarge the size of the garden twice, because he has another nephew which is 3 years old and he wants to also leave behind something for him. That's where you realize one more time that love has no limits when it comes to family.


Visiting the garden comes with the responsability to buy a visiting ticket in order to show your contribution to the place where art was born, which is:

  • Adult Ticket: 10 RON / 2.03 EUR;
  • Children Ticket ( > 6 years old): 10 RON / 2.03 EUR;
  • Kid Ticket ( < 6 years old): FREE access.

There are no fees for either taking pictures or videos with your phone or camera, as long as we are not talking about professional equipment, such as drone videography, wedding photo shootings and so on.

The park can be visited in any day of the week respecting the following schedule:

  • Monday - Friday: 9 AM - 6 PM ;
  • Saturday & Sunday: 9 AM - 8 PM .

There was also a little house located next to the garden which got my attention, that is called Villa Vinci and it represents the house where the businessman sometimes sleeps. The house is very simple and tiny, with just one floor, but which represents everything the man needs in order to relax and enjoy the place he created with his own hands in the last 17 years.


In order to reach I Giardini Di Zoe and get to feel the excitement most people tend to compare with a journey to Toscana, find out that the gardens are located just 17 away from Deva and 26 km away from Hunedoara, in a tiny village named Banpotoc that you can easily reach in less than 25 minutes of drive by following the next route: Deva - Banpotoc or Hunedoara – Simeria – Banpotoc.

If you are coming from the capital of the country (Bucharest) it will take around 4-5 hours of driving but the best part is that the village is located quite nearby the highway and it's very easy to reach it.



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