Travel Baroque Europe with Citrus Trees
From elaborate palaces in Italy to orderly German gardens, it's hard not to be mesmerized by the works of Volkamer.
Imagine traveling Europe solely based off citrus trees. It's a novel approach (and certainly an aromatic one!), and while we're not sure the path that would lead you on today, 300 years ago it would have taken you into some of the most spectacular gardens and homes on the continent. That's why the latest selection for Just Booked, our series on gorgeous travel-related coffee table books, is Taschen's J. C. Volkamer. The Book of Citrus Fruits.
The European fascination with citrus trees originating in Asia dates back at least to Roman times, but it accelerated in the Baroque era. The Medici were obsessed, and so too were the wealthy mercantile families of the Northern European free cities. One man, Johann Christoph Volkamer, believed the trees to be the "finest adornment to any garden" and proceeded to put together a two-volume work filled with plates of gardens and close-ups of more than 170 varieties.
If you've never imagined a giant lemon—smooth or gnarled—floating over a charming town, well now you can! But more than anything the book is a fantastically colored leap back in time and place to an era of beauty on a grand scale.