6 night tour for small groupsCombining Chianti and the Lucca region this 6 night Italian garden tour reflects the diversity and beauty of Tuscan villas and gardens; Italianate, baroque, parkland, water features and stunning views. This garden tour holiday operates with a maximum of 14 people.This Italian garden tour combines the classical heart of Tuscany with a stay near Greve in Chianti from where you visit three of the most beautiful and historic gardens in the Chianti area, accompanied by a local guide; Villa Poggio Torselli at San Casciano Val di Pesa, Giardino di Vignamaggio at Greve and Villa Geggiano near Siena. These villas date from the 15th Century and each of their gardens is famed in its own way for its design and beauty. Villa Poggio Torselli is renowned for its spectacular flowering plants including Indian giant hibiscus and a golden crown of 120 secular lemon trees, whereas Vignamaggio boasts an ornate Italian garden with ornamental trees, roses and cypress and Villa Geggiano, frequently used as a film set, is resplendent with ancient cypress, sculpted boxwood as well as lemon trees.From Chianti you move further west towards the coast and the town of Lucca, which offers the opportunity to visit some of the less well-known gems of this region, including the baroque gardens of Palazzo Pfanner inside the mediaeval town, Villa Grabau, Villa Oliva, the Parco della Villa Reale and the Villa Torrigiani. En route though you visit the impressive gardens of Villa Garzoni, famed for its Baroque terraces, staircases and water cascades. The Villa Grabau is renowed for its English-style parkland which abounds in rare trees, planted initially in the 16th century when the villa was built and added to over the years. Villa Oliva enjoys views over the countryside near Lucca from its position on a hillside. Its gardens descend the hill and there are numerous water falls and fountains. The Parco della Villa Reale is an extensive garden and parkland with numerous linked water features, a Moorish garden, a lemon garden, a green theatre and a camellia walk. Finally the Villa Torrigiani houses a baroque garden with nymphaeum, grottoes, water games and flowers.Click here to download a pdf with full details of this garden tour holiday.DAY BY DAY ITINERARYDay one: Arrive in TuscanyYou either join our flight at 08.25 from London Heathrow arriving in Pisa at 11.35 or you make your own way either to Pisa for this time or directly to the hotel. At Pisa you are met by your small luxury coach and English speaking driver and tour escort who take you the hour and a half approximately to your hotel for the first three nights, the Villa le Barone at Panzano near Greve in Chianti. There is time to unpack and explore the hotel and its grounds as well as the country tracks nearby before dinner.Day two: Visit to Villa Poggi TorselliToday you enjoy the stunning landscape of Chianti and this part of Tuscany, with its mixture of rolling landscaped vineyards and wooded hills. You visit the Villa Poggi Torselli at San Casciano Val di Peso, renowned for its spectacular flowering plants, where you have a guided visit. Packed lunch accompanies you. You return to the hotel Villa le Barone for dinner.Day three: Full day tour Greve to Siena.Today is a full day starting with Villa Vignamaggio was the home of the Gherardini family and Lisa Gherardini who is said to be the subject of da Vinci’s Monna Lisa. Here you enjoy guided visit. Then you head south towards Siena and the second garden of the day at Villa Geggiano, now a national monument, where you have a guided tour. A packed lunch today and then you return back to the Villa le Barone for dinner.Day four: Departure for LuccaYou leave Greve this morning for your second stay of the tour, at the Bagni di Pisa near Lucca. En route we have included a visit of the gardens of Villa Garzoni, dating from 1652 and famous for the balustraded terraces, symmetrical staircases and water cascades, which make the most of the hillside location. Lunch is included at the Ristorante Garzoni. You arrive at the Bagni di Pisa mid to late afternoon, with time perhaps for a spa treatment or a swim in the hotel’s pool. arriving in time to relax and enjoy the hotel’s spa treatments or a swim in the hotel’s pool. Dinner is taken at the hotel.Day five: Full day tour to Villa Grabau and Villa OlivaToday a local guide accompanies you on your visit to Lucca and the baroque gardens of Villa Pfanner and then nearby Villa Grabau and the gardens of the Villa Oliva. These two villas and their gardens near Lucca give you a flavour of the variety of the gardens in this area with both English-style parkland with rare trees and formal water features. Time in the day to relax with your packed lunch. Dinner is taken back at the hotel Bagni di Pisa.Day six: Full day tour to Parco Villa Reale di Marlia and Villa TorrigianiYour guide accompanies you to two splendid gardens in the Lucca area again today. The Parco Villa Reale is a very large garden with numerous water features, gardens within gardens and an enormous amount to explore. (If the circumstances of ownership of Villa Reale change it may not be possible to visit it. In this case, Villa Mansi will be visited instead). Villa Torrigiani is very pretty, formal and ornate. Lunch is included at a local trattoria in between visits. You return to the hotel for dinner and your last night.Day seven: Return to London from PisaYou have some time this morning to relax before heading back by your small coach to Pisa airport and your flight to London Heathrow which leaves at 17.55 arriving at 19.20.
2017 dates and pricesThis tour departs on the following dates: 4 June 2017 £2,150 25 June 2017 £2,25010 September 2017 £2,250 Prices are based on two people sharing a double or twin room.Single supplement for use of double: £460 per person.Deposit payment: £300 per person We include• Flights with British Airways London Heathrow to Pisa in Euro traveller.• Transportation from Pisa airport and back to Pisa airport in a small 16 seater 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 of all except Villa Grabau.• Three nights’ dinner, bed and breakfast at the Villa le Barone in a classic double or twin rooms.• Three nights’ dinner, bed and breakfast at the Hotel Bagni di Pisa in double or twin rooms.• Three packed lunches per person• Two lunches per person in local trattorias
Click the tabs above to find out more about hotel and travel arrangements, or click here to download a pdf with full details of this garden tour holiday.
Villa le BaronePanzano, Greve in ChiantiThis is a traditional hotel, once an aristocratic villa and now a 4 star hotel of under 30 rooms, in its own grounds amid a typical Tuscan landscape of rolling fields and vineyards. There is a swimming pool and tennis court.See more on Villa le BaroneHotel Bagni di PisaSan Giuliano Terme, near LuccaThis is a 5 star spa hotel of about 60 rooms, situated on the edge of a small spa town. It is renowned for its spa facilities including a thermal pool and cave, yet its location near Lucca and Pisa make it an ideal base. There is an indoor and outdoor pool, spa and fitness centre.See more on Hotel Bagni di Pisa
We include flights with British Airways from London Heathrow to Pisa in Euro traveller, as well as transportation in a small 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 to download a pdf with full details of this garden tour holiday.
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