The greenhouse recalls the agricultural and nursery tradition that is widespread throughout Italy.

The oldest evidence of a greenhouse on Italian territory is found in Pliny the Elder's treatise Historia naturalis, which describes wooden structures with transparent walls made of oilcloth, glass or mica (lapis specularis), in which cucumbers were grown during the winter.

Most of the historical greenhouses in northern Italy consist of structures that can be completely dismantled during the hottest periods in order to be able to grow plants in the open air, thus avoiding overheating. A typical example are the lemon houses of Lake Garda, most prominent among them being the lemon house of the Scaliger Castle in Torri del Benaco dating back to 1760.

In Italy there are also numerous steel and glass greenhouses in botanical gardens and historical and monumental gardens. Among the most important examples archived in the general catalogue of cultural heritage are the greenhouse at Villa Negrotto Cambiaso in Arenzano (Genoa) 1931 and the greenhouse at the Giardino dell'Orticoltura in Florence 1880.