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The Gardens of Ninfa

Historic and Private Italian Gardens near Rome
6 – 10 May 2024
Villa Tuscolana Park Hotel, Frascati (4 nights)

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Update:  This tour now in its 13th year is now fully booked but we will look to offer again in 2025 - register your interest please!

The itinerary includes superb formal Italianate Renaissance gardens of great historic and architectural interest, several wildly romantic gardens where roses tumble over abandoned ruins or rampage through trees, a garden with superb Mediterranean planting and a 16th century garden of huge sculpted monsters and other fantasy figures.  You will stay in a hotel high above Frascati, a small town south of Rome on the slopes of the Alban Hills with unrivalled views across the countryside.

Gardens visits will include:  The Villa d'Este in Tivoli, created in 1550 for Cardinal Ippolito II d'Este a remarkable and superb illustration of the Renaissance period with fountains, waterfalls and terraces. Villa Lante, built for Cardinal Gambara, on a smaller scale and more intimate but perfectly proportioned and richly detailed with formal parterres, water fountains and grottos. Bomarzo a strange bewitching treasure trove of massive garden monsters and statues designed by the architect who also created Villa d’Este.

One of the ten most beautiful gardens in the world - The Gardens of Ninfa near Lazio south of Rome, a garden of sublime romantic beauty where time seems to stand still, roses, jasmine, wisteria ramble and climb through the ancient medieval ruins of the city of Ninfa.  Nearby the opportunity to see a very private garden - Torrecchia – this outstanding 15 acre garden, originally designed by Dan Pearson and Stuart Barfoot, lies on a hill top within the ruins of a small medieval village in the foothills of the Apennine Mountains.  Giardini della Landriana  - the gardens originally designed by Russell Page and the Marchesa Lavinia Taverna are superb - divided into “rooms” all different and equally beautifully planted, a hillside of roses, lavender, box, formal and colour themed, lakes, citrus and olive groves.  Covering 15 hectares, the Moutan Botanic Centre is home to the world's largest collection of tree and herbaceous peonies (over 200,000 plants). It includes around 600 different varieties and natural hybrids belonging to known botanical species.  Finally  the Valleranello Rose Garden where again the owner has numerous roses rampaging through trees and shrubs and it is counted among the four most beautiful rose gardens in Italy.

The four star Villa Tuscolana Park Hotel, has its origins as the 16thC home of Cardinal Rufini of Rome, is sited on top of one of the hills of Rome, overlooking the town of Frascati – this is an extraordinary location with amazing views and on a clear day you can see St Peter’s Basilica in Rome. Maybe a little quirky and very Italian, but the hotel is well placed for visiting the gardens on this tour.   Virtually all the en-suite bedrooms will have panoramic views.

Monday 6 May – You are asked to make your own travel arrangements and suggested flights can be sent in order to meet in Rome Fiumicino Airport  at 14.30 where a  coach will take you to the Villa Tuscolana Park Hotel. Welcome drink with refreshments on the terrace before dinner.

Tuesday 7 May – Morning visit to the Rose Garden Valleranello before continuing to Tivoli and the Villa d'Este.  You can enjoy lunch in Tivoli before or after visiting Villa d’Este.  Return mid-afternoon to Frascati, with the option to explore Frascati before meeting to have dinner, wine tasting and tour at a well-known local Frascati vineyard.

Wednesday 8 May – Visits to gardens north of Rome, Villa Lante at Bagnaia and the nearby peony garden at Moutan Botanic Centre (where an Italian picnic light lunch is included) before continuing to Bomarzo and the Garden of Monsters. Return to hotel for dinner.

Thursday 9 May: Travel south to Torrecchia, a garden close to Ninfa and approached from the main road on 4 miles of private drive through open farmland. There is a 10 minute walk up a gentle incline to reach the house but normally a golf buggy can be available for these that need.  This garden is open very infrequently to a private party.  Lunch at a local restaurant before continuing to the Gardens of Ninfa, this is a private guided tour on a day not normally open to the public.  This evening you are free to dine independently in Frascati and perhaps a little shopping before returning home – we will arrange for transport to and from the town and suggest restaurants where you might like to eat.

Friday 10 May: Check out of the hotel early to depart to Giardinai della Landriana where after the guided tour an early lunch with their own wine will be provided in the gardens – continue to the airport to arrive in time for the 16.15 BA or Easyjet  return flights to London/Bristol.

Travel:    The suggested flight in order to join the transfers would be British Airways from Heathrow to Rome Fiumicino or Easyjet from Bristol – BA details below

Outward:  Monday 6 May  (BA0546)
dep London Heathrow 10.35 arrive Rome Fiumicino 14.15
Return : Friday 12 May   (BA0559) 
dep Rome Fiumicino  16.15  arrive London Heathrow 17.55

For details of alternative options for flights from regional airports please contact our office.

The tour package inclusions and exclusions at a glance
What is included in this tour?Items that are included in the cost of tour price.
  • 4 night’s accommodation and continental buffet breakfast,
  • 2 dinners in the hotel.  a dinner with vineyard tour Frascati,
  • 3 Italian lunches - Landriana, Peony Garden and restaurant near Ninfa.
  • All garden entries and private tours as above.
  • Executive coaching and service of Heritage Touring tour manager/guide.
  • Shared Taxi transfer from airport to hotel on 6th May if required

Tour price per person : £1280.00
Single supplement  : £300 (£75 per night)
(Double rooms sole occupancy with panoramic views where possible)
Non-refundable deposit £250 pp

It is a condition on booking this tour you have appropriate travel insurance and a valid passport.  The gardens involve some walking and some steps but the majority of these are relatively easy.  Heritage Touring reserve the right to alter the itinerary should it be necessary due to conditions beyond our control but every effort would be made to maintain the spirit of the theme.

Please note:  All flight bookings that you make are your responsibility and we cannot be held accountable if there are changes in flight times or cancellations – however we will provide a taxi from the airport either Rome Fiumicino or Rome Ciampino to the hotel if you do not join the coach transfer

The Villa Tuscolana Park Hotel

Panoramic location for historic 4 star hotel.  Hotel Website:

Each tour, unless stated otherwise in the tour details, includes welcome reception, hotel accommodation, dinner and breakfast, entry fees, guided tours and tickets where appropriate,  lunches and refreshments where stated, professional guide and executive coaching. 

You are asked to make your own travel arrangements to join each break at the hotel listed.  We are happy to give advice and where possible organise shared taxis from a rail station to the hotel and where appropriate the coach will finish a tour at the station. However we cannot take responsibility for individual travel bookings.

We strongly recommend that you take out holiday insurance for protection against any cancellation charges, loss of deposit and other eventualities even for holidays in the United Kingdom and for emergency medical expenses and injury, death, repatriation home if travelling abroad.   Heritage Touring does not offer or sell insurance but can give assistance in locating travel insurance companies. Travel insurance is mandatory for all passengers travelling abroad.