Day 1 - 26 May 2019
Arrival & Check-In to the Golden Tulip Hotel Rome
Check-In to the Golden Tulip Hotel Rome near Rome Fumicino Airport in time to meet your tour manager and fellow garden visitors over complimentary drinks between 1800-1900. Your tour manager will give you an overview of the tour and hand out an information booklet. Make you own arrangements for Dinner at the Hotel’s restaurant.
Day 2 - 27 May 2019
Gardens Visited : Villa Lante, Parco dei Mostri
After breakfast and check-out we travel to Villa Lante, the first of two gardens that we visit today. Villa Lante was built in the 16th
century. With its gardens set out in a mannerist style it is said to be a perfect example of a Renaissance garden. All of the three ascending tiered terraces use water as their key feature: fountains, jets of water, small basins and grottos all of which create a perfect distraction from the harsh summer heat. Don’t miss the magnificent Fountain of the Giants and the Fountain of the Lamps. Many features of this garden are reminiscent of the Villa d'Este
which we visit on day 5 of this tour. After lunch (included), we travel by coach to visit the Parco dei Mostri (Park of the Monsters) located in a small village called Bomarzo. The Parco dei Mostri has inspired authors, painters, musicians and intellectuals for centuries. Created in a mannerist style by Pier Francesco Orsini around 1550, its larger-than-life sculptures sit in great contrast to the renaissance gardens of the villas in the surrounding area. It’s a very surreal and memorable place at which to end the first day of this tour. We travel by coach a short distance to the 4* Park Hotel Villa Grazioli . The Villa Grazioli was built in 1580 and is rich in frescoed art works. With very comfortable rooms and a restaurant it will be our home for the next 4 nights of this tour. Make your own arrangements for Dinner either by choosing to eat in our Hotel’s restaurant or nearby at one of the restaurants recommended by the Concierge.
Day 3 - 28 May 2019
Itinerary : City Visit to Rome
Rome ! After breakfast we travel into Rome by coach and meet our local tour guide who will stay with us throughout the day. Rome is quite simply an incredible city to visit. Ancient history, world famous sites such as the Colosseum and many lesser known sites of great historical interest will make this a fascinating day. We’ll have lunch in Rome (included) and take our coach back to our hotel at the end of a full day of sightseeing.
Day 4 - 29 May 2019
Gardens Visited: Villa d’Este, Villa Adriana (Hadrian’s Villa)
After breakfast we travel a short distance north-east of Rome to Tivoli, the location of the two important gardens that we will visit today: Villa d’Este and Villa Adriana (Hadrian’s Villa). Villa D’Este is a UNESCO world heritage site famous for it’s terraced hillside renaissance garden and its skillful use of hydraulics to drive water throughout the garden into gushing waterfalls, fountains and jets. There is even an Organ fountain! The narrow terraces at the top of the garden are linked by steps and contain symbols of power in the form of statues. At the bottom of the garden, there are fish ponds and an orchard. There is really no other garden in the world like Villa D’Este! After lunch, we walk the short distance to Villa Adriana (Hadrian’s Villa). Dating from 2 AD, this Villa and garden complex took 20 years to construct. Named after its founder, Emperor Hadrian, the garden here also makes great use of hydraulic systems to connect canals, pools, reservoirs and fountains. Drawing upon Egyptian technology and Greek and Persian influences, the Villa complex was a garden oasis despite the fact that the site housed several thousand people including staff, visitors, servants and slaves. Today the Villa is in ruins but just enough remains of the complex for us to be able to imagine how it used to be. We return to our hotel for the evening. Make your own arrangements for Dinner either by choosing to eat in our Hotel’s restaurant or nearby at one of the restaurants recommended by the Concierge
Day 5 - 30 May 2019
Gardens Visited: The Gardens of Ninfa, Villa Landriana
After breakfast we travel to The Gardens of Ninfa. Often described as being the most romantic garden in the world, this 8 hectare (20 acre) garden is set in a 105 hectare (260 acre) park. The ancient town of Ninfa was already known in the 1st century AD for its natural spring. Over the years, a cathedral and a number of churches were built and later destroyed. A nearby village was later abandoned. It wasn’t until 1920 that planting between the ruins began. Native trees, exotic plants brought from all over the world as well as climbing roses and other plants now all jostle for space in this most exceptional of gardens. We leave Ninfa and drive toward the coast to visit Villa Landriana. Before our visit we’ll have an exclusive lunch (included). The garden at Villa Landriana was first established in 1956 and later designed by Russell Page. Page divided the large garden into spaces following a geometric design. Today we can visit the 32 different garden compartments. Four that you should not miss are the Orange garden, the Valley of Roses, the White Avenue and the Garden of Olives. This garden is constantly evolving being improved. It’s a perfect place to end our day ! We travel back to our hotel after our visit. Make your own arrangements for Dinner either by choosing to eat in our Hotel’s restaurant or nearby at one of the restaurants recommended by the Concierge.
Day 6 - 31 May 2019
Gardens Visited : Villa Aldobrandini, Villa Castelgondolfo.
Our first garden visit of the day is to Villa Aldobrandini, one of the most important Renaissance villas in Italy. Dating from 1558 and remodeled in 1603 to include water drawn from the Mondara Springs it became well known for its cascade and water theatre. There is a nymphaeum proving cool refuge from the oppressive summer heat and a water ladder rising into oak and chestnut woods. After our visit, we travel to the town of Castel Gandolfo, south east of Rome on the Alban Hills overlooking Lake Albano. Castel Gandolfo is often considered as one of Italy’s most scenic towns and you will have an opportunity to explore the town on your own after our visit to the garden of the Apostolic Palace of Castel Gandolfo
, the summer retreat of the Pope. Built over the ruins of Albanum Domitiani an ancient villa commissioned by Emperor Domitian in 96 A.D., Castel Gandolfo today sits on an area of 55 hectares of which the garden is around 30 hectares. The gardens were designed by the baroque architect Carlo Moderno in 1626 and restored in 1929 at the request of the Pope. There is a preserved Roman theatre, an 800 year old Holm oak, ancient umbrella pines, a magnificent 20th century parterre created by Bonomelli overlooking the the Latium plain, a Lemon garden and a Garden of Mirrors. The garden is on a grand scale and as you would expect, everything is kept in exemplary order. After our visit you will have some time to visit Castel Gandolfo town on foot after which we will travel to Rome Airport, where the tour will end in time for your onward journey.