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The Gardens of Ninfa Italian Gardens near Rome

Date for 2019: 6 – 10 May

The Gardens of Ninfa
Historic and Private Italian Gardens near Rome
7 – 11 May 2018
Grand Hotel Villa Tuscolana, Frascati (4 nights)

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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, wisterias 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 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 Grand Hotel Villa Tuscolana, 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 7 May – Fly from Heathrow or meet in Rome Fiumicino Airport  to meet the coach and continue to the Grand Hotel Villa Tuscolana above Frascati. Welcome drink on the terrace before dinner.

Tuesday 8 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 9 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 10 May: Travel south to the Gardens of Ninfa, this is a private guided tour on a day not normally open to the public.  Then continuing to the gardens at Torrecchia where a private lunch will be provided.  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.

Tonight you are free to independently have dinner in Frascati and perhaps do 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.  Having had lunch today you might even prefer something light and could dine in the hotel restaurant.

Friday 11 May: Check out of the hotel early to depart to Giardinai della Landriana where after the guided tour  early lunch with a glass of wine will be provided in the gardens – continue then to the airport to arrive in time for the 15.10 hrs return flights to London.

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 Grand Villa Tuscolana 1 dinner and vineyard tour Frascati.
  • 3 Italian lunches Landriana, Peony Garden and in the gardens at Torrecchia.
  • All garden entries and private tours as above.
  • Executive coaching and service of Italian speaking tour manager/guide.


Tour Price only: £960  per person
Single supplement: £128 (£32 per night)
Air fare: British Airways Heathrow/Rome, £240
(If you require the flight - this must be confirmed at the time of booking)
Non-refundable deposit: £250 (with flight)  £175 (no flight)



We will hold British Airways  return group flights with Wexas Travel from Heathrow to Rome Fiumicino

Outward Monday 7 May
BA0560   dep 12.45 arr   Rome Fiumicino 16.15

Return    Friday  11 May
BA0547  dep 15.10  arr Heathrow   16.50
(Monday 7 May is UK Bank Holiday so road travel to Heathrow is very quiet in the morning).

The cost of this flight would be £240 - 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.   This will give you the added security of  their ATOL: 2873/ABTA  licence  for the flights in addition to our own financial failure insurance that covers all our tours.

PLEASE NOTE:  If you book your flight independently at present time it is possible to get the same flights for almost half this price (£124) – the booking would be your responsibility – please do not book these until we have confirmed we have minimum numbers for the tour.

It is possible to link this tour with the EasyJet flight from Bristol to Rome which arrives just before the BA flight and departs just after the return flight. (Booking opens October). Equally consider extending your stay and visit Rome perhaps meeting  at the airport or hotel.


Please note:    

It is a condition on booking this tour that you take out appropriate travel insurance and have 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 very effort would be made to maintain the spirit of the theme.

In the light of the present currency fluctuations – this tour is costed on the published exchange rates on

7 July (1Euro/£0.87).   If the amount of any increase in our costs due to fluctuations in the exchange rates exceeds 2% of the total cost of your 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 issue date printed on the surcharge invoice to tell us if you want choose either option.

Grand Hotel Villa Tuscolana, Frascati

Panoramic location for historic 4 star hotel.

Website for the hotel:

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.