In trying to locate ‘The Garden of Fiorenza’, I worked on the premise that VC would not have travelled far from Chora while waiting for the steamer, so I assumed he spied the ‘garden’ from Chora. From this vista, there’s only one likely site for the garden, due north of Chora in a ravine that descends from the bare hilltop and falls away to the sea on the south coast at Aspra Petradia.
From Chora, the cemetery appears to be part of it, but that’s just an illusion. A dirt road just uphill from the cemetery leads around a fenced sports centre before it starts descending. The existence of the seasonal water course is highlighted by the lush vegetation.
Looking uphill at the point where the track crosses the ravine, VC’s description of terraces, palm trees etc seems to fit. However, it covers a large area and you have to take the dirt track going down the ravine to come to the garden of fruit trees, a date palm, pomegranates and well-maintained terraces more fitting to VC’s description. Concrete steps take you down to almost stream level. Today, it’s irrigated by plastic pipes from the mains water supply but the stream clearly flows in season.
Maybe Fiorenza spent time here mulling over the hardships of power. I’m inclined to give VC the benefit of the doubt – if only because it makes for a good story.