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 £2,580 per person.

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

This 6-night Italian garden tour of the area around Rome for small groups of up to 14 people focuses on some of the most important gardens or villas and gardens in Italy, located in Lazio, to the north and the south of Rome. You are based for the first three nights to the north of Rome in the historic city of Orvieto from where you can reach Villa Lante, a perfect Renaissance garden, which is a landmark in the history of Italian gardens and nearby Sacro Bosco at Bomarzo, with its collection of overwhelming and eccentric stone sculptures amid the parkland. Near Viterbo is also the Villa Farnese, dating from the mid-16th Century and another masterpiece of Italian garden art providing a perfect balance of landscaping, architecture and sculpture. Then you drive south visiting the magnificent Villa d’Este and Villa Adriana at Tivoli near Rome. Villa Adriana offers a magical insight into the gardens of antiquity and its hay meadows, wild flowers, pools and fishpond remain as features whilst the Villa d’Este is the quintessential garden of the High Renaissance and resplendent in its structure and use of water. You will be based near Frascati to the south of Rome, from where you can reach three spectacular and vastly different gardens: those of Castel Gandolfo, rich in history, Landriana, bursting with luxuriant flowers, shrubs and trees in an English fashion yet containing controlled Italian styles amidst colour from April to October, and Ninfa, where crumbling mediaeval walls provide a sheltered microclimate for rare and tender plants and an amazing collection of plants from all over the world. Amid 20 acres, plenty of summer heat and water from the hills, this is a unique garden, frequently perceived as a perfect garden.

Highlights

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 08.30 flight from London Heathrow that arrives in Rome Fiumicino at 12.00 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, 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. A packed lunch is provided. 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 here conducts the visit. 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 a visit with guide of the gardens of Villa Aldobrandini in Frascati. 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 15.15 hrs for London Heathrow, arriving in at 16.35 hrs

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 Prices per person 13 May 2020 £2,580 3 June 2020 £2,580 24 June 2020 £2,580 9 September 2020 £2,580

Holiday Code SGGT03

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

We include the 08.30 flight from London Heathrow that arrives in Rome Fiumicino at 12.00 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, 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. A packed lunch is provided. 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 here conducts the visit. 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 a visit with guide of the gardens of Villa Aldobrandini in Frascati. 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 15.15 hrs for London Heathrow, arriving in at 16.35 hrs

From about Prices per person 13 May 2020 £2,580 3 June 2020 £2,580 24 June 2020 £2,580 9 September 2020 £2,580

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 supplement for use of double £320 per person.
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 in a beautiful natural location. Excellent gourmet cuisine, opulent accommodation and sublime gardens afford guests a truly secluded and indulgent retreat.

Clasic double or twin in the Paggeria wing

From about Prices per person 13 May 2020 £2,580 3 June 2020 £2,580 24 June 2020 £2,580 9 September 2020 £2,580

Holiday Code SGGT03

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

About Latium

An Expressions tailor-made holiday to Latium holds countless treasures for the visitor. The whole region and its very geography and history produce a wealth of varied scenery and sites. Latium (or Lazio in Italian) lies at the very cultural and historical heart of Italy, with Rome at its centre and is bordered by the Apennine mountains to the east and the Tyrrhenian Sea to the west. A journey through Latium is a journey back to the heart of European civilisation with important Etruscan and Roman remains in evidence throughout the region. Their ancient civilisations are to be found in the obvious and not so obvious places, from temples to stones, from arches to pavements. There are also numerous villas, gardens, abbeys, spas, lakes and hill towns. The countryside is rich and fertile, hilly inland and flat towards the coast. Palms, olives, vines and fruit abound. On the other side of Italy is the little-known region of Abruzzo, rich in beautiful coastline and mountains. It is easily combined with Latium for your holiday and worth visiting for a more off-the-beaten-track region.

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

About Rome

An Expressions tailor-made holiday to Rome is a trip to the capital city of Italy and, as the capital city of the Roman Empire, a place which was widely regarded as the birth place of western civilisation. The city has a unique atmosphere of any in Italy, due to its huge wealth of sites to see, dating back not just from the Roman era, but from mediaeval and Renaissance periods as well and you could spend a lifetime visiting all the historical and architectural sites the city has to offer. Most visitors come to Rome to see the foundations of the Roman Empire in the form of the Colosseum, The Forum Romanum and the Circus Maximus, to name but a few. However, visitors nearly always allow time for a visit to the Vatican Museum and the Basilica of St Peter, even if they choose not to visit any other non-Roman historical sites! The variety of places to visit in Rome can be over whelming and it is best to plan in advance what you wish to see within the time you have and stick to it, rather than planning whilst you are there. The historic centre is perfectly manageable on foot as it is in fact quite compact. However, there is a comprehensive metro system that runs around the historic centre, rather than through it (for obvious reasons), with its intersection at the main Rome Termini station. The two lines of the metro are easy to navigate and can be a swift and inexpensive way of reaching monuments or museums which are further away from each other.

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.

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