Small group tour Gardens of the Rome area tour Italy

6 nights/7 days

Orvieto • Villa Lante • Villa d’Este • Ninfa • Landriana • Frascati • Castel Gandolfo

A 6-night garden tour of area around Rome for up to 14 people which explores the architectural gardens of the ancient region of Latium which have influenced the development of Western garden design. This tour encompasses some of the greatest masterpieces of Italian garden design dating back to Roman times with Hadrian’s Villa and the 20th century achievements of Ninfa and Landriana.

Holiday price guide

Available on selected dates, as specified below, from £3,460 per person.

Luxury garden tour of the area of Rome for small groups of up to 14 people


Orvieto • Villa Lante • Sacro Bosco Bomarzo • Villa Farnese • Villa d’Este • Villa Adriana • Ninfa • Landriana • Frascati • Villa Aldobrandini • Castel Gandolfo

Day by day

We include the 10.35 flight from London Heathrow that arrives in Rome Fiumicino at 14.20 hrs. You are met by a tour escort who welcomes you to the tour and then taken by small coach to your hotel in Orvieto. Time to unpack and rest before dinner. Dinner is not included but we will give you a list of recommended restaurants within walking distance of the hotel.

Depart from the hotel after breakfast to visit first of all Villa Lante’s garden, with abundant water features of cascades, fountains and grottoes, and superb stone carving. You enjoy a visit with a local guide of the gardens. Then you visit the bizarre collection of both eccentric and delightful stone ‘beasts’ and ‘monsters’, dating from the mid-16th Century. Enjoy this park in your own time before returning to the hotel. Own arrangements for dinner.

This is a half day excursion with your coach and driver to Villa Farnese at Caprarola, about 12 miles south of Viterbo. Hailed as a magnificent masterpiece, the garden here harmonises landscape, architecture and sculpture and bursts with a spectacular water feature, the Casino del Piacere, dating from about 1560. The remainder of the day will be at leisure back at your hotel, with time to visit Orvieto. Own arrangements for dinner.

You leave your first hotel this morning and head south towards Rome for two incredible visits before reaching your hotel near Frascati, where you will be based for the next three nights.The first visit is to the Villa d’Este, now a UNESCO world heritage site and an impressive garden of man-made terraces, fountains, grottoes, nymphs, often considered a model for European gardens thereafter. Then you visit the nearby Villa Adriana, villa of the Emperor Hadrian and even in its ruined state is one of the most spectacular Roman gardens and an impressive monument to antiquity. The garden recreated a sacred landscape and a hydraulic system fed water to the main structures. Today it is still a magical site with wild flowers, meadows, tall cypresses, fishpond and pool remaining as features. You have time to settle in to your hotel near Frascati before dinner that is included at the hotel.

The highlight today is a guided visit of the Giardini della Landriana. Occupying 25 acres and created since 1956, this is a rarity in Italy due to the scale of the separate compartments and the combination of luxuriant English planting and formal Italian structure. The garden is a mass of colour from April to October. Whites, blues, olives, citrus, cottage-style mauves and yellows abound. Formal and informal ‘rooms’ open and close in speedy succession. The influence of Russell Page is evident. A break for lunch is taken at the end of the visit here before you continue to Frascati where you have some free time to explore the town on your own. You are then taken back to the hotel for time to relax before dinner, which is included at the hotel this evening.

The garden of Ninfa is an amazingly special place and perhaps the perfect garden. A guide from Ninfa conducts the visit here. You will witness the verdant location, fed by streams from the hillsides, the impact on the plants of temperatures that rarely fall below 10 degrees Centigrade, the dilapidated walls of the village buildings that provide a microclimate for rare plants to flourish, trees and walls flower-covered and there are scents of rose and jasmine. This is a fantastic collection of plants from all over the world that flourish in this idyllic site. There is time to buy a snack for lunch either at Ninfa or in Frascati. In the afternoon there is time for a visit to Villa Torlonia in Frascati (without a guide). After a fascinating day, return to the hotel for the included dinner this evening.

Today there is a final garden to visit; that of the gardens of the summer papal residence of Villa Barberini at Castel Gandolfo. Please note: no shorts or sleeveless tops. There is some free time at the end of the visit before departing for Rome airport and the flight at 15.10 hrs for London Heathrow, arriving in at 16.50 hrs

Terms and conditions

This tour is based on 14 people participating. If there are fewer than 14 participants we may modify the tour (smaller coach but the visits would remain the same). We do reserve the right to alter the itinerary if we cannot be accommodated at any of the venues for any reason closer to the date of departure.

Special offers for this holiday>

Tried and failed to do this as a DIY exercise, so to find it done for us in style was a real treat. Personal service and expert guides.
Mrs M, October 2018

From about Dates and prices for 2025 on request

Holiday Code SGGT03

Luxury garden tour of the area of Rome for small groups of up to 14 people

Special offers for this holiday>

Tried and failed to do this as a DIY exercise, so to find it done for us in style was a real treat. Personal service and expert guides.
Mrs M, October 2018

From about Dates and prices for 2025 on request

Holiday Code SGGT03

Our prices include ● Scheduled flights with British Airways London Heathrow to Rome in Eurotraveller
● Transportation in a small coach with one piece of luggage per person
● Services of English speaking tour escort throughout
● Services of a local guide for Villa Lante, Villa Farnese, Villa d’Este, Villa Adriana, Landriana, Ninfa Aldobrandini and Castel Gandolfo
● Entrance tickets to the gardens visited
● Three nights’ bed and breakfast in a standard double or twin room at the Palazzo Piccolomini in Orvieto
● Three nights’ dinner, bed and breakfast at the Villa Grazioli, Frascati in a classic double or twin room in the Paggeria wing of the hotel
● Concierge service and Expressions Holidays regional helpful hints

Our prices do not include ● Early check-in or late check-out at any hotels (although we can arrange this on request at additional cost)
● Any other services not mentioned above, such as transfers and meals not mentioned
● Personal holiday insurance. This is essential and cover should be in place from when you book the holiday.
● Local tourist tax, usually between Euros 1 and 3 per person per night, and payable locally to the hotel

Additional information Single room supplement £380 in 2023, £490 in 2024
Deposit payment £400 per person

Luxury garden tour of the area of Rome for small groups of up to 14 people

Expressions Holidays includes these hotels in this small group touring holiday.
Hotels included in this tour
Hotel Palazzo Piccolomini

Hotel Palazzo Piccolomini is an atmospheric 4-star property of exceptional charm located in the heart of Orvieto. The historic architecture and decor of this 15th century building create a welcoming residence, ideal for the exploration of the surrounding region.

Standard double or twin

Park Hotel Villa Grazioli

Park Hotel Villa Grazioli is a 4-star, art-filled villa of traditional elegance with wonderful views. Gourmet cuisine, choice of accommodation and park for relxation.

Clasic double or twin in the Paggeria wing

Special offers

Call to make your booking and save an extra £50 per adult Call us instead of emailing us when you are thinking of booking a holiday and save an extra £50 per adult (in addition to any special offers that might be available). We want to talk to you to discuss your requirements and a phone call is usually the best way for you to define what you want enabling us to respond more accurately. We want to talk to you and you save an extra £50 per adult.

Tried and failed to do this as a DIY exercise, so to find it done for us in style was a real treat. Personal service and expert guides.
Mrs M, October 2018

From about Dates and prices for 2025 on request

Holiday Code SGGT03

Luxury garden tour of the area of Rome for small groups of up to 14 people

Highlights of Latium

There are a number of places nearby that are worth visiting: The hot springs at Tivoli and Fiuggi. The Alban Hills and the 13 hilltop towns surrounded by vineyards and elegant villas of the Roman aristocracy over the years, including the summer palace of the Pope at Castel Gandolfo. Visit mediaeval Anguillara on Lake Bracciano north of Rome. Explore the countryside of the Ciociaria region near Anagni (the name of the region comes from the bark clogs worn by the locals until about twenty years ago). Ostia Antica now inland was once ancient Rome's trading port and the ruins offer a fascinating insight into the Roman way of life. The region north of Rome is very rich in Etruscan remains -visit the necropoli at Tarquinia and Cerveteri. Great monasteries were founded around Rome, especially at Subiaco and Montecassino. The best beaches on the Lazio coast are to be found between Sabaudia and Gaeta. From the town of Bolsena take boat trips to the islands of Bisentina and Martana on Lake Bolseno. Visit the Island of Ponza off the coast near San Felice Circeo.

Cultural highlights of Latium

The gardens of the Villa d`Este at Tivoli. Hadrian`s Villa at Tivoli. Villa Lante near Viterbo. Palazzo Barberini in Palestrina which houses a 1st Century BC mosaic depicting the Nile in flood. The Byzantine frescoes in the crypt of the 11th Century Basilica of Santa Maria in Anagni. The Palazzo Farnese by Vignola at Caprarola. The 13th Century Italian Gothic church of Santa Maria Maggiore at Ferentino. 17th Century frescoes by Domenichino in the chapel at Grottaferrata.

Festivals in Latium

Spring is the main season for festivals in Latium. Genzano holds the `Infiorata`, Marta has the `Barabbata`. In the autumn there is the `Sagra dell`uva` grape festival in Marino. The influence of Rome is obvious in this area, supplemented by either proximity to coast or country.  

Gastronomy in Latium

Sage, rosemary and bay are used extensively to season. Specialities of the region include Spaghetti alla carbonara, Suppli (croquettes made with rice, meat and mozzarella), Carciofi alla giudia (artichokes fried crisp in olive oil and sprinkled with lemon juice), Saltimbocca alla romana (veal with ham and sage), Torta di ricotta. Frascati is the best-known white wine of the region although similar wines made from the Trebbiano grape include Colli Albani and Castelli Romani. Very few red wines are produced, but the best is Torre Ercolana.

Luxury garden tour of the area of Rome for small groups of up to 14 people

Highlights of Rome

If the monuments, museums and historical sites become too overwhelming then Rome is also the perfect place for a spot of retail therapy, particularly shoes and clothes. The Apian way just outside the city is where a large proportion of the Roman catacombs are, as well as the baths of Caracalla. There are also numerous famous gardens in and around Rome namely the Borghese Gardens, The Gardens of Villa Doria Pamphili, Villa Torlonia, Villa Ada and the Park of Aqueducts.

Cultural highlights of Rome

The Colosseum, The Forum, The Pantheon, Circus Maximus, Domus Aurea, Trajan’s Market, The Vatican Museum, The Basilica of St Peter, The Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore, Trevi Fountain, Spanish Steps, The Capitoline Museum, The Borghese Gallery.

Festivals in Rome

The Estate Romana is a festival which lasts throughout the summer months and encompasses many cultural activities including concerts and street performances. The Noantri Festival is at the beginning of July and has its roots in early Christianity. The statue of the Vergine del Carmine is carried through the streets of the Trastevere district of Rome and there is much feasting and merriment. There are numerous arts and antiques fairs which take place in the autumn in Rome and the city attracts a wide range of musicians and art collections throughout the year.

Gastronomy in Rome

The gastronomy of Rome is hearty but simple, based on numerous ways of cooking fresh vegetables, particularly artichokes and courgettes (zucchini), salt cod, hearty soups and meat sauces and various pasta shapes and tomato sauces, particularly using garlic and chilli. The most famous wines of the area are the Frascati wines, however the area to the south also produces excellent Cesanese wines.

Other holidays you might be interested in...