The Italian Garden

Restoring a Renaissance Garden in Tuscany


A magical restoration of a Renaissance garden in Tuscany.


ISBN: 9780500501016 Categories: ,

Cecilia Hewlett, Narelle McAuliffe


A chance discovery over fifty years ago of a series of fifteenth-century frescoes hidden in a wall cavity turned into a dream of transforming an unused car park into a lush green oasis in the heart of modern-day Prato.

Led by Monash Prato Centre Director, Cecilia Hewlett, and with a passionate team including inimitable Australian garden designer Paul Bangay, this dream became a reality.

The Italian Garden is part restoration story, part vicarious travel tale and a completely fascinating insight into the Palazzo Vaj garden.

Additional information

Weight 775 g
Dimensions 18.3 x 23.8 cm
Publisher name Thames & Hudson Australia Pty Ltd
Publication date 1 April 2018
Number of pages
Format Hardback
Contributors Contributions by Paul Bangay
Dimensions 18.3 x 23.8 cm
Weight 775 g

Cecilia Hewlett is the Director of the Monash University Prato Centre and a historian of the Italian Renaissance. She is particularly interested in the relationship between the city and the countryside. She has lived and worked in Prato for ten years and is fascinated by the history of the city. She has published a number of articles on the topic and her books include the edited collection Studies on Florence and the Italian Renaissance in Honour of F. W. Kent (2016, Brepols) and Rural Communities in Renaissance Tuscany (2004, Brepols).

Paul Bangay is undoubtedly one of Australia's pre-eminent landscape designers and gardening authorities. The author of nine books (1996-2016), his work has been featured in over a dozen other titles, and in countless magazines over the course of his thirty-year career. Aside from his professional achievements, Bangay has consistently given his time to charitable, philanthropic and civic endeavours. He has served as a Foundation Board Member for the Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden Foundation since 2011, and as an Ambassador for the Murdoch Children's Research Institute (MCRI) since 2014. In 2001, Bangay was awarded the Centenary Medal (General List) for his contribution to Australian landscape design.

Narelle McAuliffe is the Communications and Alumni Engagement Coordinator for the Monash University Prato Centre. She has a masters by research in Italian historical linguistics and a Graduate Diploma in Education from the University of Western Australia. Her published translations include 'Palazzo Vaj: A Brief Historical Sketch' in A Site of Convergence (2011, Monash University Publishing) and 'The Magnificent Arbitrator: Lorenzo de' Medici and the Patrician Families in Florence' in Studies on Florence and the Italian Renaissance in Honour of F.W. Kent (2016, Brepols). Narelle also co-edited the volume Chinese Migration to Europe: Prato, Italy, and Beyond (2015, Palgrave Macmillan).

Luke Morgan is Associate Professor of Art History and Theory at Monash University. His books include Nature as Model: Salomon de Caus and Early Seventeenth-Century Landscape Design (2007) and The Monster in the Garden: The Grotesque and the Gigantic in Renaissance Landscape Design (2016), both published by the University of Pennsylvania Press.

Simon Griffiths is a Melbourne-based food, interiors and garden photographer. His work frequently appears in major lifestyle magazines and in books such as Stephanie Alexander's Kitchen Garden Companion (2009, Penguin) and Kylie Kwong: My China (2007, Penguin). He has collaborated with leading Australian landscape designer Paul Bangay on all of his books, most recently Paul Bangay's Guide to Plants (2015, Penguin), The Garden at Stonefields (2013, Penguin), and Paul Bangay's Country Gardens (2016, Penguin).