BOXWOOD TOUR OF ITALY - Rome and the Gardens of Tuscany
May 8-18, 2020 (Plus an optional extension to the Italian Lake District May 18-21)
Join the American Boxwood Society on a trip a of a life time to Italy arranged by Garden Travelers. After two nights in Rome, the group will visit the gardens of Ninfa and Landriana before visiting one of the most famous of all Italian gardens, Villa d’ Este. The next few days will be spent in Tuscany visiting both private and public sites that have been toured by Garden Travelers for more than 20 years. Not only gardens, but great food, wine, and gelato, wonderful villages, and historical sites will be the focus of this group. Next, we visit Florence where we continue to see great gardens and some of the world’s most famous art. We will visit San Gimignano, Siena, the Corsini winery and garden, Castello Ruspoli, Lante, and many other sites. After Florence, you can either return to the U.S. or continue to Stresa, Italy where we have a fantastic ending to this trip including Villa Cicogna Mozzoni and Isola Bella.
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Arrive in Rome by 9:00. Meet our private motor coach for the short drive to Cerveteri to visit the Etruscan tombs. After this we will have a group lunch before traveling into Rome for the evening. Dinner will be on your own, but we will lead a short walking tour to the Pantheon and Piazza Navona. Included: Lunch.
Today we will visit some of the highlights of Rome. Our hotel is a 10 minute walk to the Roman Forum, 2 minutes to the Pantheon, less than 10 minutes to Piazza Navona, about 15 minutes to the Trevi Fountain, and about 10 minutes from one of my favorite churches which I am excited to show you. This evening you will have leisure time to explore Rome at night. There are several good restaurants a short distance from the hotel. Included: Breakfast.
We depart Rome with a full day of visiting three wonderful gardens: Landriana, Ninfa, and Villa d’Este. Landriana is an arts and crafts garden designed by Russell Page and Marchesa Lavinia Taverna. The beautiful Gardens of Ninfa (Giardini di Ninfa) are located in the Lazio region of Italy, about 40 miles south-east of Rome. Known mostly to garden enthusiasts, Ninfa and its unique setting are still a fairly well-kept secret. Ninfa was a substantial town going back to the times of the Romans. However, during the Middle Ages the town was squabbled over, sacked, beset by malaria and eventually Ninfa was abandoned to the elements. A neglected part of the estate of the aristocratic Caetani family, Ninfa was left to slumber until the twentieth century when descendents transformed the town's ruins into a botanical garden. The last owner, Lelia Caetani, left the garden to a foundation.
The third garden, Villa d’Este is included in the UNESCO world heritage list and is a masterpiece of the Italian garden with impressive fountains, nymphs, grottoes, and boxwood. Villa d’Este is a much copied model for many European gardens.
After Villa d’Este we will continue to the town of Viterbo where we will spend the night. Included: Breakfast and lunch.
Today we will once again see three wonderful and different gardens. The first will be The Park of Monsters divised by the architect Pirro Ligorioe who completed the Cathedral of Saint Peter in Rome after the death of Michelangelo. This place is indeed a wonder, and off the beaten path. Another place off the beaten path is Castello Ruspoli where we will enjoy a visit to the garden, tour of the castle, and lunch. The garden, considered one of the most important in Italy, was created in 1611. Marcantonio Marescotti (3rd Earl of Vignanello and Parrano) was married to Ottavia Orsini, daughter of Vicino Orsini, creator of the sacred garden of Bomarzo. She planned and supervised the creation of the Renaissance garden parterre of Castello Ruspoli. Thanks to the restoration and preservation promoted by the family, it is known in Europe as one of the most well preserved gardens of that time.. The other garden we see today is Lante. In the eyes of many, this is the consummate example of the best period in the history of garden design: the Mannerist phase of the Italian renaissance. It was designed for Cardinal Gambara, who had a modern taste for outdoor living and eating al fresco. The buildings are treated as garden ornaments, illustrating a good principle, and the overall design is attributed to Vignola. It uses the Palladian circle and square. Every aspect of the garden is perfectly proportioned and richly detailed. After these visits we will continue to San Gimignano. San Gimignano is a “tourist trap” town, but oh what a “tourist trap” it is! After the day visitors leave, it is indeed a magical place. Included: Breakfast and lunch.
Our first visit today is a Villa we have visited many times. We will enjoy lunch here before we travel to Montereggioni which is a small walled town. Included: Breakfast and lunch.
We are off to a wonderful experience at Badia Coltibuono today complete with wine, lunch, and a great garden. We will return to San Gimginano by way of Siena where you will have free time. Spend it seeing sights, sipping a drink on the Campo, or for the brave climbing the tower. Actually there are 2 towers to climb. The famous one on the campo or the bell tower by the Cathedral. I suggest the latter. Siena is a good shopping stop. Included: Breakfast and lunch.
Today we depart for Florence, but have another great stop on the way. We will visit Le Corti for a visit to the old wine cellar, the garden, and lunch. This winery has been in existence for many years, but has been modernized by the current family member living here. The winery has won many awards and is owned by the Corsini Family who have been in and around Florence since the Medici’s ruled. I might add that the Corsini’s are still going strong. Included: Breakfast and lunch.
In the morning we will visit the garden of Villa Gambira , and then return to Florence. You will have the afternoon free in Florence. We will meet in front of the Duomo (cathedral) Santa Maria del Fiore at 5:00 PM to visit the Academia and see (the real) David.
Today we will visit the Medici Tombs as a group. Afterwards you will have free time to visit the sites of your choice. Included: Breakfast.
Return home from Florence with memories of a wonderful trip, or continue with us on an extension to Lake Maggiore where we will spend 3 nights at a lake front hotel.
For those of you who want a VACATION after a trip. Join us for an extension to Stresa, Italy in the lake district.
Travel from Florence to Milan. We will arrive at Stresa in time to take the funicular to the top of the mountain. The views from here are great and there is a gravity roller coaster. Included: Breakfast
Spend the day experiencing the gardens and villas on Lago Maggiore. They are wonderful and in my opinion can be visited again, and again. The ferry stops at several villages both in Italy and Switzerland so you will have enough to fill your day. Included: Breakfast.
We will travel this morning to Villa Cicogna where we will tour and have lunch. This will be one of the best experiences of the trip with one of the best hosts. Included: Breakfast, lunch.
Fly home with memories of a great trip.
Rome & The Gardens of Tuscany May 8-18, $3495
Extension to the Italian Lake District May 18-21, $525
Payment due dates:
Sept. 1, 2019 ________ $500.00
Nov. 1, 2019 ________ $500.00
Dec. 1, 2019 ________ $500.00
Feb. 1, 2020 ________ $1000.00
March 15, 2020 _____ Remainder
Checks can be made payable to The American Boxwood Society. Space is limited.
Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to get on the waitlist!
Also, feel free to contact Linda Williams of Garden Travelers at 317-408-3880 or email@example.com for more information.
ANNUAL SYMPOSIUM & GARDEN TOUR
Thank you to all who joined us for Hoosier Hospitality in Indianapolis June 6-8, 2019!
Be sure to read our upcoming Fall 2019 Boxwood Bulletin for a complete recap of the event.
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