• This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

GARDENS OF ITALY

21 September – 7 October 2020

Book Now

ITINERARY
Renaissance and Baroque Italian gardens are extravagant exercises in philosophy, mythology, allegory, mathematics and glorious theatre. Put them alongside Italy’s gorgeous cities, art and gelato, add the unique camaraderie of a Ross tour, and you have an unforgettable experience.

 

DAY 1
Monday 21 September 2020
Home – Rome

Meet Libby Cameron at Sydney airport for your flight to Rome or meet at our hotel tomorrow.

DAY 2
Tuesday 22 September 2020
Rome (D)

Our hotel in Rome for the next 4 nights is the stylish Palazzo Navona Hotel. Perfectly located in the heart of the old city, you will be steps away from the Pantheon and Piazza Navona. St Peter’s Basilica is a short walk across the river. The remainder of the day is free to unwind. Perhaps relax with a drink at the spectacular rooftop terrace, or join Libby on an orientation walk and get to know the local area. Enjoy a Welcome Dinner in the lush surroundings of your hotel.

Accommodation: Palazzo Navona Hotel, Rome

DAY 3
Wednesday 23 September 2020
Tivoli (B)

The Villa D’ Este is the quintessential garden of the Italian High Renaissance and it’s our destination today. The use of water, all gravity-fed, is thrilling. The garden itself is well-maintained and the water hydraulics have been restored so we can experience them as the aristocracy of the 16th century did.
Head back to Rome this afternoon with a stop at Hadrian’s Villa, an exceptional complex of classical buildings that were built for the great Roman Emperor Hadrian in the 2nd century AD.
Free time to wander the piazzas of this lovely city.

Accommodation: Palazzo Navona Hotel, Rome

DAY 4
Thursday 24 September 2020
Ninfa (B/L)

Giardina Ninfa is a romantic garden that rambles along streams, over remnants of ancient walls and towers and rejoicing in the damp, lush conditions. The rare and fragile artistic sensibility of this garden is carefully managed. This medieval town was deserted in the 13th century and has crumbled into a romantic ruin.
Continue to the hill town of Norma for a spectacular panorama and lunch.
An evening guided tour of the Colosseum will make this a night in Rome to remember.

Accommodation: Palazzo Navona Hotel, Rome

DAY 5
Friday 25 September 2020
Castel Gandolfo (B)

The Pope escapes the heat of Rome at his summer residence, Castel Gandolfo, and that’s where we’re headed today. Within these breezy Alban Hills, Castel Gandolfo sits on the edge of a volcanic crater lake. This 12th century fortress built by Gandolfi gave the village its name. It was ceded to the church in 1596 in payment of debt. Gardens were added in 1626 and restored in 1929 according to Italian principles while respecting the layout and levels of the Roman palace. The scale and perfection of this ‘Imperial’ garden, is grand even today. Impeccable maintenance extends to the olive groves and vineyards beyond the garden and along with the pontifical farm, supply the Pope’s table. It’s a treat on three levels and we will explore it all.

Accommodation: Palazzo Navona Hotel, Rome

DAY 6
Saturday 26 September 2020
Rome – Florence (B)

Today we farewell Rome and head north to a garden considered a landmark in the history of Italian gardens. Villa Lante at Bagnaio is the perfect example of a Renaissance garden. It is unchanged in structure and size, since the 16th Century. The garden is arranged on four levels along a main axis, emphasised by fountains with perfect symmetry. It is divided into two parts.
Between the two flows water that settles in a water parterre. There’s a wealth of detail, yet an overall sense of tranquillity. The famous water chain has been much copied.
This afternoon, travel to Florence and check into our hotel. Located within an historic building in the center of Florence, you will love the elegance of Hotel Cerretani hotel. Here in this elegant city you will be surrounded by art and history. The iconic Duomo cathedral is just moments from your doorstep. Dinner is included tonight in our hotel.

Accommodation: Sofitel Hotel Cerretani, Florence

DAY 7
Sunday 27 September 2020
Lucca (B)

Lucca is a beautifully maintained walled city. Our walking tour will reveal it perfectly preserved; an architectural jewel of a city with walls still largely intact. There’s free time to wander through the town, up onto the walls or into the old Market square. This afternoon visit Villa Pfanner, a wonderful example of an Italian-style baroque garden and one of the most beautiful gardens in Lucca. Panoramic views from the house across the garden to the city walls are just delightful. Late afternoon return to Florence.

Accommodation: Sofitel Hotel Cerretani, Florence

DAY 8
Monday 28 September 2020
Florence (B/MT)

We are in for a treat with a full day in Florence, starting with morning tea at the extraordinary Palazzo Cerretani. Situated on the banks of the River Arno, Palazoo Cerratani is a masterpiece of Baroque Architecture. See magnificent decorations and perfectly preserved exquisite frescoes. Spend the remainder of the day exploring Florence your own way. Perhaps visit the famous leather markets or spend the afternoon in one of the world’s oldest museums – the Uffizi Gallery, seeing works by Botticelli, Leonardo da Vinci, Raphael, Titian and Caravaggio.

Accommodation: Sofitel Hotel Cerretani, Florence

DAY 9
Tuesday 29 September 2020
Florence (B)

This morning we’ll stroll across Ponte Vecchio to visit the Boboli Gardens behind Palazzo Pitti, the mid-15th century residence of the powerful Medici family. Boboli preserves its Renaissance and Baroque style with a remarkable collection of Roman, Renaissance and Baroque sculptures. The garden is built into the slope of the Arno Valley and commands views over the city. After lunch is the remarkable Villa Gamberaia. Sitting on a promontory overlooking Florence and the Arno Valley, the ochre-rendered villa and garden nestle amongst groves of olives and grapes. The harmonious blend of hillside, house and garden was much admired by Edith Wharton who praised its simplicity of composition. Considered by many as the perfect Italian garden.

Accommodation: Sofitel Hotel Cerretani, Florence

DAY 10
Wednesday 30 September 2020
Florence – Bologna – Sirmione (B/D)

Today we are heading to Lake Garda and the beautiful lakeside town of Sirmione that charmed the Romans. Mosaics and ruins evidence of their occupation. En route we stop at Bologna for lunch – perfect timing as this historic university town has a reputation as a culinary destination. Try some of their renown gelato! Continue our picturesque drive to Sirmione after lunch and check into the exquisite Palace Hotel Villa Cortine. Surrounded by 5acres of garden, this beautiful hotel on the banks of the Lake Garda is your home for the next 2 nights.

Accommodation: Palace Hotel Villa Cortine, Sirmione

DAY 11
Thursday 01 October 2020
Sirmione (B)

An exclusive chartered boat awaits you this morning. Step on board for a dreamy day out on Lake Garda cruising the lake and visiting Isola del Garda. A private gem and the largest island in the lake, Isola del Garda will take your breath away.

Accommodation: Palace Hotel Villa Cortine, Sirmione

DAY 12
Friday 02 October 2020
Sirmione – Verona – Stressa (B)

Verona is our destination this morning. Stop for coffee alongside the famous Arena, peep in at Juliet’s Balcony and wander through the classic Giardino Giusti which occupies the hillside above the River Adige. The garden remains faithful to its 16th century outline. After lunch, travel further north to the Lake District and the ‘grande dame’ of the pretty lakeside towns, Stresa, on the western shore of Lake Maggiore. Check into Hotel Regina, one of the Stresa’s ‘Belle Époque’ hotels. This is our base for the next four nights, from which we’ll explore the area’s beautiful and atmospheric lakes and villas.

Accommodation: Hotel Regina Palace, Stresa

DAY 13
Saturday 03 October 2020
Lake Maggiore (B)

Wake this morning to a veil of mist over Lake Maggiore. Floating on the water is Isola Bella, a short boat ride Explore its flower-filled terraces then ferry across to Isola Madre where peacocks run.

Accommodation: Hotel Regina Palace, Stresa

DAY 14
Sunday 04 October 2020
Lake Como (B)

Hop aboard our private boat for a cruise of Lake Como, Italy’s most popular and deepest lake. Beautiful villas and gardens line the shores. We’ll stop for lunch in Bellagio, which is considered one of the prettiest towns in Italy – against some stiff competition! Narrow cobbled streets, a promenade planted with oleanders and lime trees, fin-de-siècle hotels painted in shades of butterscotch, peach and cream, and a spectacular location sealed the deal for Bellagio.
After lunch we’ll visit the gardens at Villa Melzi, which sits on a promontory on Lake Como. The owner was a friend of Napoleon and the garden has a statue of the goddess Pacht collected on Napoleon’s Egyptian campaign. Back on board for the short trip across the lake to Villa Balbianello in its superb position on the tip of a small wooded peninsula.

Accommodation: Hotel Regina Palace, Stresa

DAY 15
Monday 05 October 2020
Villa Cicogna (B/D)

Another treat today – Villa Cicogna in Lombardy, near the Swiss border. This is a living museum, with beautifully restored interiors, terraced gardens, arcaded courtyards and a spectacular water staircase. The house was originally a hunting lodge, built in 1400 by the Mozzoni family, and was later modified as a renaissance villa. We’ll take a short drive to Porto Ceresio on Lake Lugano, where we’ll have lunch and explore.

Accommodation: Hotel Regina Palace, Stresa

DAY 16
Tuesday 06 October 2020
Stresa – Milan – Home (B)

Free morning in Stresa then afternoon departure to Malpensa airport in Milan.

DAY 17
Wednesday 07 October 2020
In flight
DAY 18
Thursday 08 October 2020
Arrive home

 

HOW TO BOOK

To secure your booking and make your deposit, please complete our online booking form. You will be contacted by a Ross Tours Travel Manager to confirm your details and preferred method of payment.

CANCELLATIONS

Cancellations received 180-120 days prior to departure will incur loss of deposit.
Cancellations received between 119-60 days prior to departure will incur a 50% cancellation fee.
Cancellations received between 59-30 days prior to departure will incur a 75% cancellation fee plus any non-recoverable costs incurred.
Cancellations received within 30 days prior to departure will incur 100% cancellation fee.

Cancellations must be sent in writing.
Cancellation fee is based upon the total amounts paid including tours, airfares and all other travel arrangements.
All prices in Australian Dollars. Prices based on minimum 15 passengers. Price is based on departure from Sydney / Brisbane / Melbourne. Price from NZ and other Australian ports available on application. Ask us about other sightseeing and travel arrangements including pre and post tour accommodation, transfers, stopovers and other tours. Ask about our exciting Flower Carpet Tour (August 4-22) that links into this one.
Please refer to the Ross Garden Tours standard terms and conditions

Book Now

TOUR INCLUSIONS
TOUR ESCORTED BY
LIBBY CAMERON
  • Return group economy airfare with Emirates Sydney / Dubai / Rome / Milan / Dubai /Sydney
  • Air-conditioned motorcoach throughout tour
  • Deluxe accommodation for 14 nights
  • Breakfast daily, 1 lunch and 3 dinners
  • Entrance fees to all gardens and sightseeing including Villa d’Este, Villa Adriana, Ninfa Garden, Villa Barberini, Villa Lante, Villa Pfanner, Palazzo Corsini, Boboli Gardens, Villa Gamberia, Isola del Garda, Giusti Garden, Isola Madre, Isola, Bella, Villa Melzi, Villa Balbianelo, Villa Cicogna
  • Fully escorted by Libby Cameron
TOUR PRICE

Twin Share per person land only $12,595
Twin Share per person including air $14,895
Single Supplement $3,195

DISCOUNTS

Book and pay in full by 22/05/2020 to receive the Early Bird Discount of $300.00 per person off the final instalment.
Previous Traveller Discount $100.00
Garden Clinic Member Discount $50.00
download this itinerary
download this brochure

OTHER TOURS

Singapore Garden Festival

Singapore is a city in a garden. An exciting mix of cultures, ultramodern ‘Supertrees’ and 19thcentury charm, all wrapped in
beautiful tropical gardens. Discover Gardens by the Bay, Flower Dome and Cloud Forest; a showcase of horticulture and garden
artistry at the 2020 Singapore Garden Festival.

England Rose Gardens

A flower-filled and rose-scented journey through England starting near the Scottish border at Newcastle, then York, Birmingham
and Richmond. Landmark gardens: Sissinghurst, Great Dixter, David Austin Roses, Castle Howard, Alnwick Castle… culminating at
Hampton Court Flower Show.

East Coast USA

From George Washington’s private garden at Mt Vernon to the contemporary Oudolf designed masterpiece on New York’s High
Line, we’ll visit majestic heritage homes and a trifecta of Pennsylvanian beauties: Longwood Gardens, Winterthur and
charming Chanticleer. It’s an East Coast USA garden adventure of a lifetime travelling with Graham and Sandra Ross through
Washington, Philadelphia, New York and Newport Rhode Island.

Portugal and the Madeira Flower Festival

The Gardens and Estates of Lisbon, Porto and Madeira

Citrus scented streets, Art Nouveau buildings, mosaic pavements, blue/white ceramic tiles (azulejos) decorated walls, arcades,
columns and water tanks, marble towns of the Alentejo; all go to make this spring journey through Portugal and Madeira one to
remember. Highlight is Madeira’s famous Flower Festival.

Japan Spring Festivals

Japan celebrates Golden Week with festivals of azalea, peony, wisteria and the last of the cherry blossom. Our floral adventure begins
in the deep mountains of Nikko, and then travels over four islands of the archipelago: Honshu, Shikoku, Kyushu and Naoshima. Highlight
includes walking beneath Japan’s famous wisteria tunnels. See cities Tokyo, Matsue, Okayama and Takamatsu.

Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show

Admire new trends, world-class designer gardens and a Royal Exhibition Building filled with flowers during Australia’s grand
garden festival. We’ve included some fine gardens around Melbourne. It’s a great four-day short break.

Northern India

Opulent palaces, towering forts, vibrant spices, buzzing bazaars, cast their spell on you. During our 15-day tour of India you will
stay in luxury at Bombay, Udaipur, Jaipur, Agra, and Delhi and absorb the beauty of the world’s greatest Mughal gardens in an
adventure
of a lifetime.