The Gardens of Ninfa
Historic and Private Italian Gardens near Rome
4 – 8 May 2020
Villa Tuscolana Park Hotel, Frascati (4 nights)
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 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. 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 ideal for visiting the gardens on this tour. Virtually all the en-suite bedrooms will have panoramic views over the campagna romana.
Monday 4 May – Fly from Heathrow or meet in Rome Fiumicino Airport where the coach will take you to the Villa Tuscolana Park Hotel above Frascati. Welcome drink on the terrace before dinner.
Tuesday 5 May – Today visit the Rose Garden Valleranello before continuing to Tivoli and the Villa d'Este. Return mid-afternoon to Frascati. Relax in the hotel or explore the town before a tour, wine tasting and dinner at a well-known local Frascati vineyard.
Wednesday 6 May – Visits to gardens north of Rome, Villa Lante at Bagnaia and the nearby peony garden at Moutan Botanic Centre (where Italian pasta and salad lunch is included) before continuing to Bomarzo and the Garden of Monsters. Return to hotel for dinner.
Thursday 7 May: Travel south to the Gardens of Ninfa. This is a private guided tour on a day not normally open to the public. Lunch in a local restaurant before continuing to the gardens at Torrecchia. This 15 acre garden is very near Ninfa, 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 this but normally a golf buggy for these that need. This garden is open very infrequently to a private party. The evening is free to independently have dinner in Frascati.
Friday 8 May: Check out of the hotel early to depart to Giardinai della Landriana where after the guided tour an early lunch in the gardens – continue then to the airport to arrive in time for the 15.10 return flights to London.
Travel: We hold group return tickets British Airways flights with Wexas Travel from Heathrow to Rome Fiumicino
Outward: Monday 4 May (BA0560) dep 12.45 arriving Rome Fiumicino 16.15
Return: Friday 8 May (BA0547) dep 15.20 arriving Heathrow 17.05
The cost of this return flight would be £293.44 - to conform with travel agent regulations you pay this directly to Wexas Travel at the time of settling your final balance with us for this tour 9 weeks before departure (24 February). This will give you the added security of Wexas ATOL: 2873/ABTA licence for the flights, in addition to our own financial failure insurance policy that covers all our tours. Please contact the office direct for information on alternative flights from other airports which you book independently to join the tour. (Easyjet from Bristol works well the flight arriving before the BA flight and departing after).
- 4 night’s accommodation and continental buffet breakfast.
- 2 dinners in the hotel 1 dinner and vineyard tour and tasting Frascati.
- 3 Italian lunches - Landriana, Peony Garden and local restaurant near Ninfa.
- All garden entries and private tours as above.
- Executive coaching and service of Italian speaking tour manager/guide.
Tour price per person: £1015 (Tour only)
Single supplement: £140 (£35 per night)
Double room for sole occupancy
Air fare from Wexas Travel: British Airways Heathrow/Rome £293.44 **
(If you require the flight - this must be confirmed at the time of booking)
Non-refundable deposit £250 (with flight) / £200 (no flight)
To join this tour you must have the appropriate travel insurance and a valid passport. The gardens do 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.
With the uncertainty of post-Brexit and possible currency fluctuations – this tour is costed on the published exchange rates on 21 July (1Euro/£0.90). If the increase in our costs due to fluctuations in the exchange rates or additional Brexit taxes exceeds 2% of the total cost of this holiday we reserve the right to levy a surcharge. If any surcharge is greater than 10% of the cost of your holiday you will be entitled to cancel your booking and receive a full refund of all monies you have paid to us or alternatively purchase another holiday from us – you have 7 days from the date printed on the surcharge invoice to tell us if you want to choose either option.
Panoramic location for historic 4 star hotel. Website for the hotel: www.villatuscolana.com
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.