The Radicepura Horticultural Park was commissioned by the famous Faro Family Sicilian nursery. The Park covers 5 hectares and is in the shadow of the volcano Mount Etna where the rich fertile soil has fostered the growth of over 5,000 varieties and 3,000 species of plants.
In the Park you can visit the Botanical Gardens, the installations of the Radicepura Garden Festival, the Mediterranean Landscape Biennial and the areas dedicated to events and conference tourism.
The Radicepura Botanical Park (RBP) also houses the Foundation.
The aristocratic palace, that houses the Foundation, built in the late 19th century by Mariano Panebianco, an engineer from Arcireale. The building is famous for its Zelantea Library and Art Gallery in Arcireale. The Pennisi family of Santa Margherita had it designed and built as a dowry for their daughter, next to the pre-existing palm grove, for wine production over an area of more than 100 hectares within the county of Mascali. Given the Port of Riposto (also known as Etna’s Port), the area has long been known for its important winemaking vocation also outside Italy. The property was purchased by the Faro family in the early 2000s, then extended and improved while respecting its distinctive features. The large Subtropical Greenhouse (Serra Subtropical) was built in 2010, designed by Nadir Guemida, a French-Algerian architect: the glass and iron structure houses precious specimens of Ravenalia madagascariensis (aka the traveller’s palm), century-old ferns and huge Alocasia and Monstera leaves.
Venerando Faro, Cavaliere del Lavoro (Knight of the Order of Merit for Labour) is the President of Radicepura and following the Foundation’s principles established in 2019, the Botanical Gardens are divided into four terraces, designed to preserve rare plants and different varieties of aloe, succulents and palm trees. The Garden was established to create a place where study and research could be carried out hands-on, open to the scientific community. To this end, a seed bank was set up within Radicepura, where a large variety of plants can be grown. This result was achieved thanks to single scholars and a number of Italian and foreign universities, such as the Faculty of Agricultural Studies of the University of Catania as well as the Universities of Istanbul, Tunis and Barcelona.
The history of the Faro family goes back a long time: they are rooted in the land and foster their enterprise, the Piante Faro. The business was established 50 years ago by Venerando Faro and his wife Carmela and is now a leader in international floriculture and Mediterranean plants.
The history of Piante Faro began with a small shop in Aci Sant’Antonio- now Punto Faro. It has developed thanks to their sons, Michele and Mario, who now run the business.
In 2012, the idea of creating a place to host conferences and events dedicated to the Mediterranean landscape and biodiversity resulted in the creation of the Radicepura Botanical Park.
The need for ‘green’ in all its forms was then expressed in the Donna Carmela Resort and Lodges, La Cucina di Donna Carmela and the Pietradolce winery.
The numerous awards and recognitions over the years include the ‘Cavalierato del lavoro’ (Knight of the Order of Merit for Labour) awarded to the founder Venerando Faro in 2013 and the ‘Laurea Honoris Causa in Scienze e Tecnologie Agrarie (Honorary Degree in Agricultural Science and Technology)’ from the University of Catania.