The Giardini Reali (Royal Gardens) of Venice are public gardens, created in 1806 in Venice and covering 5,500 square meters. They are located between Piazza San Marco and the Bacino di San Marco and close to the main vaporetto's pier. It is a small patch of greenery that can be admired from the Grand Canal.
They were built in 1806, at the request of Napoleon, who had the project to restructure St. Mark's Square. The garden is set on a plot of land previously occupied by the Granai di Terranova (Barns of Terra Nova), a fourteenth-century Gothic building that served as a warehouse for the market and for small shops.
After Napoleon's fall and the return of Venice under Austrian sovereignty in 1815, the gardens were enlarged and completed. A greenhouse was built, as well as a Coffee House built in neo-classical style by Lorenzo Santi from 1815 to 1817. The gardens, nevertheless, were still known as the Napoleonic gardens during most of the 19th century.
The garden then gradually fell into disuse. In 2014, the Italian State, which has owned it since 1920, decided to give it as a concession to the Foundation of the Gardens of Venice for a period of 19 years to ensure the recovery and restoration of the gardens themselves, as well as most of the structures within them, with financing from the Generali insurance company, under the direction of the Italian landscape architect Paolo Pajrone.
The restored gardens will be inaugurated and opened to the public in December 2019.