The intention to create a large green area was implemented in the 1830s by Teresa Mosconi - wife of Count Spiridione Papadopoli - who at the time, together with her husband, took over from the Quadri family.
In order to realize the wishes of the Papadopoli couple, the monastery dedicated to Santa Croce - which gave its name to the entire district - one of the oldest in Venice had to be demolished; today, in memory of this place of prayer, there are two toponyms, Fondamenta della Croce and Fondamenta del Monastero. In the nineteenth century the garden occupied 12,000 square meters of land and were cultivated, among others, as many as 955 vines, 399 fruit trees and the beauty of 20,000 mulberry trees. It was designed in about 1834 by Francesco Bagnara, set designer of the La Fenice theater as well as a professor of Landscape at the Academy of Fine Arts, according to the romantic inspiration, with meandering avenues and English hills, in addition to the ordered geometric flower beds.
A new conception of the park took place in 1863 at the behest of the successors Nicolò and Angelo Papadopoli and Marco Guignon was commissioned; exotic plants and an aviary were introduced containing multi-colored parrots and silver pheasants. The interventions made not only concerned the garden but also the palace: in this period, in fact, the splendid circular terrace on the Grand Canal was built, which on clear days also allowed you to see the mountains.
Today the size of the gardens is considerably reduced, from 12,000 to 7,500 square meters and since 1920 they have been freely open to the public. The reduction of the green area was, in part, caused by the disfigurements of the First World War, but above all, starting from the 1930s, a new terminal connecting Venice and the mainland had to be made available, which was added to the Railway station. The need to leave spaces for hotel facilities also contributed to this. Flanking Piazzale Roma, there are still two small green areas, the size of a large flower bed, which have recently undergone a modification.
The current size of the park sees the preponderant presence of Bagolari, Olmi, Sofore, Tassi, Tigli, Maple as well as two Gingko, some specimens of Spino di Giuda and an Oak; in the undergrowth, on the other hand, there are shrubs of Laurel, Eponym, Aucuba, Viburni and Ruscus Hypoglossum. The lower part of the garden is connected to the higher one, where you meet the terrace of the castle, through a brick bridge that represents one of the few surviving elements dating back to the nineteenth century. Among the stalls along the walk, you can see some holm oaks and an ancient fountain that probably belonged to a nymphaeum or a cliff in the past. In the heart of the park you can see the statue of Pietro Paleocapa, an Italian scientist and politician who in Venice mainly dealt with the water sector and studied projects in the railways, tunnels and navigable canals, significantly contributing to the construction of many essential infrastructures.
In 1970, as part of a larger renovation project for the hotel, a Winter Garden was created by Pietro Porcinai, a landscape architect; the place has recently been restored to its ancient splendor, keeping the innovations of the time unchanged, with exotic and tropical plants, lighting with lamps that reproduced sunlight and plant furnishings, all elements that intend the garden as a "place of anima ”and an oasis of peace.