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History

La Mortella Gardens were created in 1958 by Lady Susana Walton , the wife of Argentine origin of the English composer Sir William Walton . The gardens are located on the promontory of Zaro in the municipality of Forio on the island of Ischia.

The Waltons came to Ischia shortly after their marriage in 1949. At first they settled in a rental house , but then decided to buy land in the place called Le Mortelle - from the name of the myrtle bushes (Myrtus communis) growing between the rocks. So the property was called La Mortella.

Lady Walton developed the garden for more than 50 years , at the beginning with the help and advice of the English landscape designer Russell Page, subsequently following her own inspiration.

Widowed in 1983, Lady Walton decided to open the garden to the public in 1991 .At the same time she created two foundations, the William Walton Trust in England, and The Fondazione William Walton in Italy , with the aim of promoting the music of her late husband, encouraging the love and knowledge of music, and preserve the gardens .

In 2003, Lady Walton entrusted the task of managing La Mortella to the Italian Foundation , to which later she transferred the whole property. For this reason , the Foundation changed its name to "Fondazione William Walton La Mortella ." By doing so Lady Walton
passed the baton and made sure she could follow closely the transition from a privately owned concern, personally managed by herself , to a non-profit cultural organization aimed at the public benefit.

Today La Mortella belongs to Fondazione William Walton La Mortella, that manages the garden, opens it to the public, takes care of the administration , and is in charge of cultural activities.

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Sir William Walton

Sir William Walton

Sir William Walton OM (1902-1983) is considered as one of the greatest English composers of the twentieth century. A determining factor in the development of his career was the patronage of the eccentric Sitwell family (the siblings Edith, Osbert and Sacheverell) who took him under their wing in 1919 when he left Oxford.

Read more: Sir William Walton

Susana Valeria Rosa Maria Gil Paso

Susana Walton

Susana Valeria Rosa Maria Gil Passo (1926-2010) was born in Argentina and received the type of education held to be appropriate for a girl of her social class. She learned to speak English before Spanish, her native tongue, and it was expected that she would become engaged and, after a suitable number of months, marry a young Argentinian of an equal status.

Read more: Susana Walton

russel_page

Russell Page

Russell Page (1906-1985) was one of the greatest landscape architects of the 20th century. Born in Lincolnshire in 1906, he devoted himself to gardening from a young age and as an adolescent worked in different gardens during the summer holidays.

Read more: Russell Page

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