Exploring Umberto Pasti’s Enchanting Retreat in Tangier, Morocco

In the heart of Tangier, Morocco, lies a mesmerizing oasis that transports visitors to a world of serenity and natural beauty. Designed by the renowned Italian gardener and writer, Umberto Pasti, this remarkable retreat is a testament to his exquisite taste, passion for horticulture, and deep connection to the land. With its lush gardens, captivating architecture, and harmonious blend of cultures, Pasti’s oasis is a testament to the transformative power of nature and the human spirit.


Over several years, Pasti’s connection with Tangier deepened, leading hi,m to purchase a house in 1991—Tebarek Allah, named “praise the Lord” in Arabic. This charming property comprised two single-story houses with whitewashed stone facades and a rustic charm that captured his heart.


As one steps into the oasis, a sense of serenity washes over the senses. The air is filled with the sweet fragrance of blooming flowers, while the gentle sound of water trickling from fountains creates a soothing melody. The gardens, meticulously curated by Pasti himself, are a botanical marvel, showcasing an incredible array of plant species from around the world. From towering palms and vibrant bougainvillaea to delicate orchids and rare succulents, every corner of the oasis is a testament to Pasti’s keen eye for botanical diversity and his commitment to preserving endangered species. The architecture of the oasis is equally captivating. Pasti’s vision seamlessly blends the traditional Moroccan style with elements inspired by Mediterranean and Andalusian influences. The buildings, adorned with intricate tilework and carved details, exude a timeless charm that pays homage to the rich architectural heritage of the region. The interplay of light and shadow creates a dynamic atmosphere, highlighting the beauty of the surroundings and enhancing the overall sensory experience.


Tebarek Allah showcases Pasti’s unique decorating style, marked by intuitive object placement rather than conventional schemes. Lanterns, carpets, art, and framed panels of Moroccan tiles adorn the home. Antique textiles drape wooden furniture adorned with hand-painted depictions of nature by the Jbala Berber tribes.


One of the most enchanting features of Pasti’s oasis is the incorporation of elements from different cultures. As a globetrotter and connoisseur of art and design, Pasti has curated an exquisite collection of objects and artefacts from his travels, infusing the space with a sense of cultural richness. Intricate Moroccan rugs, handcrafted ceramics, and vintage textiles create a tapestry of colours and textures, adding depth and character to the interiors. Each piece tells a story, inviting visitors to embark on a journey through time and space. The oasis is not just a physical space but a sanctuary for the soul. Pasti’s deep connection to the land and his passion for horticulture have created an environment that nurtures and inspires. It is a place where one can retreat from the noise and chaos of the world, finding solace in the simple beauty of nature. The meticulously designed pathways invite strolls, guiding visitors through hidden corners and secret gardens, encouraging moments of introspection and reflection.


Collecting has been integral to Pasti’s life since childhood. His friendship with British antiques dealer Christopher Gibbs and his partnership with Stephan Janson have fueled a lifelong conversation about art and objects.


Through his vision and dedication, Pasti has created a place that transcends time and invites us to reconnect with our surroundings and embrace the beauty that lies within. As we wander through the oasis, we are reminded of the profound impact of nature on our well-being and the importance of preserving our planet’s precious resources. As visitors traverse the labyrinthine paths of the oasis, they are greeted by an exquisite symphony of colours and textures. The gardens, meticulously cultivated by Pasti, offer a harmonious tapestry of foliage, showcasing a stunning array of flowering plants, towering trees, and fragrant herbs. The juxtaposition of vibrant hues against the serene backdrop of the desert landscape creates a sensory feast for the eyes, evoking a sense of wonder and enchantment.


In Umberto Pasti’s meticulously cultivated garden, the vibrant tapestry of nature unfolds like a cherished novel, with every petal and leaf penning a unique chapter. This verdant haven is a living testament to the intersection of artistry and nature’s boundless creativity, where each flower blooms with its own tale to tell.


Beyond its botanical treasures, the oasis’s architectural elements serve as an ode to the rich heritage of Morocco and its neighbouring regions. Traditional Moroccan craftsmanship intertwines with Mediterranean and Andalusian influences, resulting in a visual masterpiece that seamlessly blends the past and the present. Intricately patterned tiles, intricately carved woodwork, and arched doorways beckon exploration, revealing hidden courtyards and serene alcoves that invite quiet contemplation.


Every corner of Tebarek Allah, bathed in the soft hues of restoration and imbued with the warmth of boundless love, stands as a poignant testament to the transformative power of human dedication.


What sets Pasti’s Oasis apart is its ability to go beyond mere aesthetics and become a living testament to the interplay between diverse cultures. Every corner of the oasis tells a story, with treasures collected from around the world. Tribal art from sub-Saharan Africa, antique furnishings from Europe, and delicate ceramics from Asia find their rightful place, coexisting harmoniously within the oasis’s walls. This curated amalgamation of cultural artefacts creates an ambience that is both timeless and cosmopolitan, celebrating the interconnectedness of humanity and the beauty of diversity.

Within the embrace of this oasis, one finds respite from the hectic pace of modern life and an invitation to reconnect with the simple joys of existence. The soft rustle of leaves, the subtle aroma of blossoms wafting on a gentle breeze, and the calming murmur of water flowing from fountains come together to compose a harmonious serenity that touches the souls of every visitor.


This enchanting enclave, a hidden gem nestled in the heart of Tangier, bears witness to the remarkable journey of revitalization that has breathed new life into its timeworn walls and rustic facades.


At the heart of Pasti’s Oasis lies a profound commitment to sustainability and environmental stewardship. Recognizing the fragility of the ecosystem, every aspect of the oasis has been carefully designed to minimize its ecological footprint. Pasti has created a haven of beauty, serenity, and cultural fusion, inviting visitors to immerse themselves in a sensory journey that transcends time and borders. As we wander through this oasis, we are reminded of the intrinsic connection we share with the natural world and the profound impact that art and design can have on our lives. 


Images by: Ngoc Minh Ngo

More on Foyer

Shopping Cart