BOXWOOD TOUR OF ITALY - Rome and the Gardens of Tuscany

Recheduled to the Fall of 2021. (Plus an optional extension to the Italian Lake District)


Join the American Boxwood Society on a trip a of a life time to Italy arranged by Garden Travelers.

New dates and schedule TBA.
Email us at to get on the waitlist.

Download our Booking Form


Read an article about the event from our Bulletin


ITINERARY - Subject to change now that the trip has been postponed to the fall of 2021.

Day 1
Plan to arrive at the Albergo Santa Chiara hotel by late afternoon. Our tour will begin with dinner at a favorite restaurant near our hotel. We will not need to walk far, and will be finished in time to get to bed early for our first day of touring tomorrow. We will be spending 3 nights at the Santa Chiara which has an absolutely wonderful location. Included: Dinner

Day 2
After breakfast at the hotel, we will meet our private motor coach for the short drive to Cerveteri to visit the Etruscan tombs. Our next stop will be Giardini della Landriana where we will visit the garden and have lunch. Landriana is an arts and crafts garden designed by Russell Page and Marchesa Lavinia Taverna. Afterwards we will return to Rome. Dinner will be on your own with several restaurants being a short walking distance from the hotel. We are very close to the Pantheon and Piazza Navona. Ron and I will be glad to conduct a short walking tour to those sites. Included: Breakfast, entrance fee to Cerveteri and Landriana, and lunch.

Day 3
Today you have the opportunity to 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, 15 minutes to the Trevi Fountain, and about 10 minutes from one of my favorite churches which I am excited to show you. We have arranged a very special private visit to the Colonna Palace at 5:00 in the evening. Palazzo Colonna is one of the oldest and largest private palaces of Rome. Its construction began in the fourteenth century by the Colonna family, who still reside there after eight centuries. We are sure you will be amazed at the art collection and the architecture. This is a highlight that many do not have the opportunity to visit. Included: Breakfast, visit to Linda’s favorite church, and Palazzo Colonna.

Day 4
We depart Rome with a full day visiting two wonderful gardens: Ninfa, and Villa d’Este. 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 descendants transformed the town's ruins into a botanical garden. The last owner, Lelia Caetani, left the garden to a foundation.

The second 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. We will have time for a quick lunch on your own before we visit Villa d’Este.

After Villa d’Este we will continue to the town of Viterbo where we will spend the night. Included: Breakfast and dinner, entrance to gardens. Hotel: Terme Salus, Viterbo.

Day 5
Depart: 8:00 AM Today we will see three wonderful and different gardens. The first will be The Park of Monsters created 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, lunch, entrance to gardens. Hotel Leon Bianco, San Gimignano.

Day 6
Our first visit today is a Villa Geggiano which we have visited many times. We will tour the villa with the owner, visit the garden, and have lunch sampling some the wines from the estate. This will be one of the highlights of the trip. On the return to San Gimignano we will visit Montereggioni which is a small walled town near Siena. Included: Breakfast, entrance and tour of Villa Geggiano, and lunch.

Day 7
We have a 10:30 appointment to visit Le Corti a winery and villa owned by the Corsini family. The winery has been in the family for hundreds of years and produces award winning wines. We will tour the old winery, the villa, the garden, and have lunch. On our return to San Gimignano for our last night we will stop in Siena to visit the campo, the cathedral, and have some free time. Included: Breakfast, lunch, tour of Le Corti.

Day 8
Today we depart for Florence, but have another great stop on the way. We will visit Badia Coltibuono for a visit to the villa, the garden, and have lunch. This is a garden that is often overlooked, but a wonderful garden nevertheless. We will then continue to Florence where we will visit one of the Corsini Palazzos to see wonderful art work. (This is an addition.) Afterwards we will check into our very centrally located hotel. Included: Breakfast and lunch, entrance fees to Badia Coltibuono and the Corsini Palazzo. Hotel: Realis Hotel Centrale Residenza D’Epoca.

Day 9
In the morning we will visit the garden of Villa Gamberaia, 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. Afterwards we will visit the Palazzo Corsini where we will be hosted by Princess Giorgiana Corsini. Included: Breakfast, tour of Gamberaia, visit to the Academia, and visit to Palazzo Corsini.

Day 10
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 and entrance to Medici Tombs.

Day 11
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.

Day 11
Travel from Florence to Milan. We will be departing in time to make a stop at a garden near Milan that we have never visited, but wanted to for some time. The garden contains many water features and tricks. We think this will be a fun stop. 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: Train trip to Milan, coach trip to garden and on to Stresa. At the present time, our hotel is the Regina Palace on the lake front and very close to the town of Stresa. If this changes, it will be to another lakefront hotel.

Day 12
Spend the day experiencing the gardens and villas on Lago Maggiore on your own. They are wonderful. I do not know how many times we have visited these gardens, but we are certainly are looking forward to a return visit. The ferry stops at several villages both in Italy and Switzerland so you will have enough to fill your day. One of the amazing sites on the lake is the Hermitage of Santa Caterina del Sasso, perched on its “balcony” overlooking the Borromeo Gulf. Included: Breakfast.

Day 13
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. This is another garden that we have been coming to for many years, and another host that we consider a good friend. Included: Breakfast, lunch, garden visit.

Day 14
Fly home with memories of a great trip.


The cost of this trip is $3495.00 and the extension is $600.00. Feel free to contact Linda Williams at or 317-408-3880 if you have questions.

Checks can be made payable to The American Boxwood Society. Space is limited.

Email us at to get on the waitlist!

Download our Booking Form

Also, feel free to contact Linda Williams of Garden Travelers at 317-408-3880 or for more information.



After careful consideration the Executive Committee of the Board of Directors of The American Boxwood Society have made the decision to change the date and location of the Annual Symposium originally scheduled for March 25-28, 2020. Please watch the website, the Boxwood Bulletin and emails for information on the new date and location.

Thank you,
John L. Makar
John Makar, President
The American Boxwood Society

Raleigh Durham

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Charles King Sadler of King Garden
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Bryce H. Lane, Host of "In the Garden with Bryce Lane"


Blandy Experimental Farm

Check out the American Boxwood Society's Boxwood Memorial Garden during events at Blandy.



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