The neglected Royal Gardens (Giardini Reali) behind St Mark’s Square in Venice are due to receive a makeover, starting this month. The park, which is surrounded by water, was created during the Napoleonic occupation of the city. It will be replanted and renovated by the Venice Gardens Foundation. The €5m project also calls for the restoration of the 19th-century pergola, Neo-Classical coffee house pavilion and greenhouse, as well as the historic drawbridge to St Mark’s Square. The gardens are due to reopen to the public in July 2018. Italy’s culture ministry and the Italian insurance group Generali will split the cost of the project.