Italian Garden Ideas for an Outdoor Makeover

Italian gardens appeal to those with an eye for classic design, an interest in history, and a love for the warm Mediterranean climate. Like French landscapes with their gallic flair, they have a style associated with the Renaissance.

They are the heavenly fusions of classical order and theatrical flourish. When coupled with modern approaches and styles, expect a heightened sense of drama and intrigue.

Below is a great list of Italian garden ideas to add a little Italian romance to your space.

1. Start with a beautiful gateway

Make an entrance with reclaimed timber or intricate ironwork. Training roses, and adding climbers and shrubs can evoke a sense of grandeur to the garden.

A pergola-covered pathway also looks inviting, perfect for evoking that Italian romance.

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Garden entrance with Italian details
Image Credit: Flickr

2. Feel the citrus in the air

A citrus grove will not only look beautiful, but it’ll also fill the air with a refreshing aroma. Besides lemons, you can establish limes, grapefruit, bergamont and shaddock trees in terracotta.

These potted trees also make natural accents along the path, near a vineyard, or set in the outdoor dining.

Lemon tree in an Italian garden
Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons

3. Create a hideaway for silent sanctuary

Tuck a secret garden behind hedges or cypress trees or under a lush pergola – steer away from the patio. The space is intended to be quiet and intimate, where you can relax and enjoy the Italian ambience.

Italian Garden at Duke Gardens with fountain focal point
Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons

4. Scatter a few statues throughout the yard

Your Italian courtyard should be decorated accordingly, and sculptures are common elements. Place them alongside pathways to break the monotony of the decor. Or to accentuate a curve or a more secluded area of your garden.

Boboli Gardens, Florence - statue of Abundance
Image Credit: Flickr

5. Line up a pine grove

The beautiful silhouettes of Italian Cypress can adorn the entrance of your garden. The tree is also featured in so many works of art – the work of Van Gogh, “The Starry Night”, is a great example.

Line them up to divide spaces or create a monumental element in your landscape.

6. Grow the toughest plants

If your plot is exposed to intense wind, sun, and salt, grow the toughest plants that can cope with the weather. Other than the grey cloud of Artemisia, thriving bushes of rosemary, Cistus, and myrtle. These sturdy greens can survive such conditions.

7. Train climbing roses

Italy has some of the globe’s finest rose gardens, particularly the gardens of the Riviera. Perfect for walls, arbours, fences, and other structures, roses offer divine fragrance and elegance.

Pair them with lavenders to bring colour and delight to your plot all summer.

Mottisfont Abbey Rose Gardens, Hampshire, UK
Image Credit: Flickr

8. Add tranquillity with a water feature

The gentle trickle of a fountain is part of the idyllic soundscape in Italian gardens. A garden pond can fit in any garden shape, or you can mix a pond and a fountain for a stunning water feature piece in your garden.

Fountain at Sonnenberg Gardens
Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons

9. Go extra with parterres

The concept of a parterre is to plant ornamental shrubs and flowers in a symmetrical pattern. It’s like knot landscaping, except that it can be divided into quarters with narrow paths.

They need careful manicuring for the best effect and are recommended for passionate gardeners. If that’s you, go for it!

Bodysgallen Hall parterre garden, Wales
Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons

10. Include topiary trees into the mix

Finish off your perfectly symmetrical garden plan with topiary trees! Include box shrubs and Junipers, and plant them as borders to paths or a part of the parterre.

Top tip: Trim them to symmetrical perfection to create an amazing piece for your garden.

Chateau d'Azay-le-Ferron Topiary
Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons

11. Grow vertical with trellises

Trellises offer functional vine support, ideal for climbing plants like rose and ivy. They’re a superb way to bring greenery and blooms, especially in yards where you might be short on the soil.

You can also try clematis or a trumpet vine for variety.

Shed with attached trellis on a side and trained Clematis
Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons

12. Dine alfresco under the tree

It’s a classic Italian scene: having open-air dining beneath the boughs of a beautiful tree. The best trees to make this a reality are weeping willow or yew trees.

But if you already have an established one, it’s best to work with that! Go for vintage wooden dining sets or iron – or a combination.

13. Inject neutral colour schemes

Make sure you’re leaning towards warmer shades for your colour scheme. Ecru, linen tones, peachy, and tan-rose sandstone colours are lovely choices. For planters, you can never go wrong with terracotta pots.

14. Invest in a wrought-iron furniture

Your furniture quality should be able to stay outside year-round. Thus, invest in sturdy, weather-tolerant materials. A wrought-iron dining set is elegant and has that Italian romance we all love.

Cast aluminium material works, too, and has the look of a wrought-iron one but is more lightweight.

A Cast Aluminium church in a sunny garden
Cast Aluminium Arm Chair

15. Garden urn planters

Garden urns are a chic way to achieve that Italian-country look. Unlike the usual pots, they have more detailed designs, making them a swish decoration.

Experiment with different positions to see what works best.

Feeringbury Manor lawn urn planter, Feering Essex England 2
Image Credit: Flickr

16. Window shutter flower box

Wooden window shutters are virtually a staple of many Italian homes. The natural place to hang them is next to your kitchen windows, and add a flower box to grow herbs or blooms.

The shutters also look good on the side of a large mirror, giving it a window-like effect and the illusion of space.

Cottage garden window shutter planter
Image Credit: Pxhere

17. Seek shade in a pergola

A pergola alone wouldn’t be enough, and Italians know this. Smother the structure in Wisteria or Jasmine for a romantic scene in your outdoor space.

The open design provides shelter and shade, hitting all the notes for a true Italian vibe.

Paved pergola with seating area
Image Credit: Flickr

18. Have symmetry in mind

To make the most of your garden, divide your space in a balanced and symmetrical manner. Use rows of hedges or trees, statues or columns to achieve an effect of stability.

This method creates a style that shapes nature.

Italian garden with symmetry landscape
Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons

19. Bring in a touch of Portofino

Neatly clipped hedging, parterres, plants grown in urns, and a striking mosaic floor. Here, we present a Portofino garden enhanced by the Italian charm. It’s especially known for its Romanesque architectural details.

Portofino garden
Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons

20. Italianate your terrace or balcony

Revamp your terrace for the arrival of spring and summer with a steal from the Italian coast. This Tuscan and Mediterranean-inspired outdoor dining room sure is inviting enough to dine.

Opt for bright and summery colours with patterns to fit the warmer weather.

Italian terrace garden with stairs
Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons

21. Let the vines invade the columns

When growing vines in columns, your best option is Boston Ivy. It thrives in a temperate, moist climate and can anchor itself to almost anything.

Top tip: Attach a fishing line for the vine to climb on without damaging the columns or walls.

Pergola with columns covered in Wisteria
Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons

22. Decorate the steps with flower pots

This garden staircase covers centuries-old brick with flower pots on each step. Even better, hanging pots and climbers of the wall add romance and ancient touch.

If you have a cobblestone alley or path, scatter a few terracotta pots around.

Steps with pots
Image Credit: Pxhere

23. Light up your yard with antique lamp posts

When it comes to your outdoor lighting such as lamp posts, you’ll want them made from copper and brass. They offer both vintage and modern designs.

Install a few along your garden path, near a bench or your entrance. For a whimsical look, train climbing roses on the posts.

Antique garden lamppost
Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons

24. Landscaping with ornamental grasses

Modernise your Tuscan garden theme with ornamental grasses. Besides textural variety, they add a bold, flowing element to the landscape. Recommended varieties include muhly grasses and deer grass.

Ornamental grass landscape
Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons

25. Cultivate a mini herb garden

The country itself is famous for its culinary focus. And it only makes sense that most gardens incorporate herbs. Sage, rosemary – particularly ‘Tuscan Blue’, and oregano will suit your aromatic patch.

Potted herb garden in terracotta
Image Credit: Rawpixel


The hallmark of an Italophile garden is order. A formal landscape design perfected in Renaissance Italy. It is marked by reliance on hardscaped features and manicured evergreens, to name a few.

As seen from the list, Mediterranean plants are also part of the horticultural aspect. Stealing the design for your garden requires planning and lots of inspiration.

This list of Italian garden ideas is guaranteed to help you think outside the local garden box!