6 night tour for small groupsThis 6 night tour splits between the two cities of Padua and Verona, both with clusters of significant gardens in and around them whilst their villas benefit from the influence of the great Palladio. Also in this region, due to the importance of the cities of Padua and Verona, there are very particular gardens of historic interest inside the cities themselves. Please note that this holiday does involve walking tours of up to 2 or 3 hours in duration and the gardens have terraces and steps. This tour operates with a maximum of 14 people.This tour allows you plenty of time to explore the beautiful cities you stay in. Also, because of the proximity of the gardens to the cities, there is little driving time in between each visit or each day in total. The tour starts with a drive of abut 30 minutes south-west of Padua and the Villa Barbarigo Pizzoni Ardemani whose gardens take the form of an amphitheatre surrounded by hills but reached by avenues containing all the attributes of an Italian garden: box hedges, lemon trees, sculpture and water features, including water games which may soak the unsuspecting visitor. Nearby on the edge of the Euganean Hills is Villa Emo at Rivella. This villa dates from 1588 and is attributed to Vincenzo Scamozzi, a pupil of Palladio. The main lines of the garden are straight and Italianate but the planting is informal with lots of indigenous flowers such as primroses, hellebores and hepaticas, mixed with salvias, iris and arums in the water. Padua is a delightful, small city and at its heart is the Botanic Garden. Just under 30 minutes’ drive from Padua, on the Brenta Canal, is the Villa Pisani, whose gardens reflect the French influence at the time with its gates and grilles offering views to the countryside outside of the park. There is also a labyrinth, gentle lawns, avenues of water and decorative statues. Our time in Verona is spent exploring the city with a local guide but also visiting the Giardino Giusti, set on a steep hillside behind the villa courtyard, inside Verona and one of the oldest Renaissance gardens in Italy, dating from the 1570s and much visited by artists over the centuries. Goethe was inspired by the huge cypress trees. Our final garden is that of the Villa Rizzardi that lies about 11 miles to the north of Verona. Its most outstanding feature is a green theatre, the finest of its kind in Italy dating from 1796. The alleys and vistas have been designed to glimpse the hills and mountains whenever possible. An avenue of cypresses interspersed with palm trees leads to a belvedere. There is also a wild bosco where stone beasts lurk.Click here download a pdf with full details of this garden tour holiday.DAY BY DAY ITINERARY Day one: Arrive in Italy We book you onto the 14.00 British Airways flight from Gatwick to Venice, arriving at 17.10. You are met by your small luxury coach and driver/escort who take you to Padua, a drive of less than an hour. As our hotel is in the historic centre, passengers and luggage will be transferred to the hotel by minibus. Time for a stroll in the city centre and to try one of our recommended restaurants for dinner (not included).Day two: Visit Villa Barbarigo and Villa Emo at Rivella Today you are driven the short distance (about 30 minutes) south-west of Padua to the area of the Euganean hills for the two visits today. A local guide at the gardens will provide guided visits. Enjoy the sense of theatre from the setting of Villa Barbarigo, with its beautiful garden that has strong structural element but also is full of flowers as well as clipped hedges, box, magnolias and fishponds with waterplants. At Villa Emo, you will appreciate the very pretty borders and flowers, unusual in such a structured Italian garden. An English influence is evident in the double herbaceous borders and blocks of blue iris. The setting of the villa is a delight with the estate-owned apple orchards, corn fields and vineyards. Return to Padua for the evening and own dinner arrangements.Day three: Explore Padua and visit the Botanic Gardens This morning you will enjoy a walking tour with a guide of the heart of Padua with its bridges, arcaded streets and piazzas and also the famous historic botanic gardens. Padua is a delightful, small city (setting for Shakespeare’s Taming of the Shrew) and home to an ancient university. The city has arcaded streets, piazzas and is intersected by branches of the Bacchiglione river. At the heart of Padua is the historic Botanic Garden, dating from 1545 and founded as an apothecary’s teaching garden for the University Medical School. Living plants from all over the world were brought here to be studied and for use in herbal medicine. The layout is still very geometric. The rest of the day is at leisure for you to explore on your own. Own arrangements for dinner.Day four: Villa Pisani and Verona You leave Padua this morning for the second stay of the tour but en route you drive along the Brenta Canal and stop to visit Villa Pisani, one of the most famous of the villas on the canal and resplendent with symmetrical water features, statues and lawns. If possible we will visit Villa Trissino Marzotto before reaching Verona. Your hotel is in the city centre, a few minutes’ walk from the Arena. This afternoon is at leisure for you to explore the city on your own. Own arrangements for dinner or visit one of our recommended restaurants.Day five: Sightseeing of Verona and the Giardino Giusti You enjoy a morning’s sightseeing walking tour of Verona with a local guide, have free time for lunch, and then in the afternoon you visit the Giardino Giusti, one of the oldest Renaissance gardens in Italy and from which you will be able to admire panoramic views of the Alps and the Po valley. The highest level of the gardens is thick with 19th Century landscape-style planting and then lower down on the flat are formal box-edged parterres, lemons in pots and fountains. Cypress form a walk and there are beautiful views to the Alps and across the Po to Mantua. Own arrangements this evening for dinner.Day six: Villa Rizzardi and Valpolicella wine tasting with lunch Your final full day on this tour takes you north of Verona towards the Valpolicella wine region and first a visit to Villa Rizzardi and its famous green theatre, the oldest in Italy. After the visit you will have a wine-tasting and a light lunch. Mid-afternoon return to Verona for your final night. Own arrangements.Day seven: Return to London from Verona You will check-out after breakfast for a morning flight back to London, departing from Verona at 11.50 and arriving into Gatwick at 12.50 hrs. If you prefer we can arrange for you to have a full day in Verona and fly back on the evening flight at 22.10 arriving into Gatwick at 23.00 hrs (transfers extra). Or why not extend your stay in Italy and visit Lake Garda or Venice perhaps? Ask us for details.
2017 Dates and pricesThis tour departs on the following dates from London for these prices per person.7 June 2017 £2,14013 September 2017 £2,140Prices are based on two people sharing a double or twin room.
Deposit payable: £300 per personSupplements: Single occupancy £450Grand deluxe double at Palazzo Victoria £15 per person per nightWe include: • Flights with British Airways Gatwick to Venice, Verona to Gatwick in Euro traveller.• Transportation from Venice airport back to Verona airport in a small coach for maximum 14 people with one piece of luggage per person, English speaking driver-escort.• Entrance tickets to the gardens mentioned with guided visits.• Sightseeing tour on foot of Padua and Verona.• Three nights’ bed and breakfast in double or twin rooms at the Hotel Majestic Toscanelli, Padua.• Three nights’ bed and breakfast in a deluxe double or twin room at the Palazzo Victoria, Verona.• Luggage and passenger transfer in Padua.
Click the tabs above to find out more about hotel and travel arrangements, or click here download a pdf with full details of this garden tour holiday.
Hotel Majestic ToscanelliPaduaThis is a 4 star hotel in the heart of the old town of Padua, traditional in style, furnished with antiques and with each bedroom having its own soft furnishings. Rooms have either bath or shower and wc and overlook the square at the front of the hotel or the courtyard at the back. The hotel offers a buffet breakfast and there is an American bar serving drinks and food.See more details on Hotel Majestic ToscanelliPalazzo Victoria VeronaThe Palazzo Victoria is now a 4 star hotel with about 70 rooms and suites in the historic centre of Verona. Originally a private palazzo, the building has been painstakingly restored to incorporate original features such as Roman mosaics and mediaeval frescoes. There is a bar, popular with the Veronese where cocktails can be enjoyed often accompanied by live jazz and there is also a restaurant with show kitchen. Super location and lots of atmosphere.See more details on Palazzo Victoria
We include flights with British Airways from London Gatwick to Venice and Verona to London Gatwick in Euro traveller, as well as transportation in a small luxury coach with one piece of luggage per person. If you want us to arrange flights on other dates and from UK regional airports or to extend your holiday with a stay elsewhere in Italy, just let us know. If you are not arriving from the UK, then we can give you a price that excludes flights and perhaps with extra transfers included. We will adjust the details and the price accordingly.
This holiday is based on 14 people participating. If there are fewer than 14 people participating, we may modify the tour (smaller coach, or combining driver and escort. Visits to gardens would remain unaffected). We reserve the right to consolidate departure dates if there are insufficient numbers for any of the departures. Our booking conditions apply to this holiday and a copy of the booking conditions can be seen on our website, a copy can be requested before you book and a copy will be sent to you with a confirmed booking. We reserve the right to alter the itinerary if we cannot be accommodated in any of the villas and gardens for any reason closer to the date of departure. We reserve the right to alter the hotel accommodation if necessary. Holiday insurance is not included but it is absolutely essential that you are fully insured.Click here download a pdf with full details of this garden tour holiday.
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