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Italian Cultural Gardens in Cleveland, Ohio

Italian Cultural Gardens in Cleveland

The Italian Renaissance Cultural Garden, dedicated as a "symbol of the contribution of Italian culture to American democracy", opened on October 12, 1930 before a crowd of three thousand people. The Italian government sent a bust of the Roman poet Virgil celebrating the 2000th anniversary of his birth.

The Italian Garden is designed in a formal Renaissance style with large walkways, balustrade and benches. Two large winding staircases lead down to a brick-paved courtyard and a magnificent Renaissance wall fountain.

The upper level Renaissance fountain is modeled after the fountain in Villa Medici in Rome, Italy. The staircases and lower level have elements from the Villa d'Este outside Rome.

Carved sandstone images representing famous Italian cultural figures in Arts and Letters, and Arts and Sciences grace the lower level:

  • Giotto, Florentine artist
  • Michelangelo
  • Petrarca, Renaissance scholar, poet and humanist
  • Verdi, operatic composer
  • Leonardo da Vinci
  • Guglielmo Marconi, Nobel Prize winner and inventor of the wireless telegraphy

In 2007 the Italian Cultural Garden Foundation began the $750,000 Renaissance Restoration Project, a total restoration of the hardscape, two large Renaissance fountains, installation of historic lighting on both levels, a new fountain, benches, statues, memorial balustrade to Philip J. Garbo, its creator, a 14 ft statue of Dante Alighieri and the replanting of the entire garden in a Renaissance design.


Cleveland Italian Cultural Garden Fountain

Cleveland Italian Cultural Garden Fountain

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Cleveland Italian Cultural Garden

The Lower Level of the Garden

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Giotto, Michelangelo, Petrarca relief
Giotto, Michelangelo, Petrarca relief

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Verdi, DaVinci, Marconi relief

Verdi, DaVinci, Marconi relief


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Italian Veterans Rock Memorial in Italian Cultural Garden in Cleveland
Italian Veterans Rock Memorial

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Italian Veterans Rock Memorial in Italian Cultural Garden in Cleveland
Italian Veterans Rock Memorial

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Columbus Rock in Italian Cultural Garden in Cleveland
Columbus Rock

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Columbus Rock inscription
Columbus Rock Inscription

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Philip Garbo - Creator of theItalian Cultural Garden in 1930
Philip Garbo - Creator of the Italian Cultural Garden in 1930

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Philip Garbo - Creator of the Italian Cultural Garden in 1930 and Columbus Rock
Columbus Rock and new Garbo ballistrade

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Cleveland Italian Cultural Garden fountain

Cleveland Italian Cultural Garden upper level fountain

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Cleveland Italian Cultural Garden sign
Cleveland Italian Cultural Garden sign






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