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Gardens Illustrated: The Italian Rose in Lazio & Umbria

The popular Italian rose is widely enjoyed for its beauty, fragrance and vibrant colors, with large, full blooms and strong, sturdy stems, a favourite among florists and gardeners alike. This tour is timed to coincide with the magical weeks of early summer in Italy when roses bloom and nightingales sing day and night. We explore some of the most famous Italian Rose gardens, including Ninfa and a private garden owned by a former President of the World Federation of Rose Societies. We start the tour in Rome at the Donna Camilla Hotel, housed in a former Baroque Monastery, at the foot of the Janiculum Hill in a quiet corner of Trastevere. Known as ‘The Green Heart of Italy’, Umbria is a region of great beauty, encompassing medieval hill towns, mountains, lakes, and verdant valleys edged by wooded slopes. It is here, in Perugia, that we find the Brufani Palace Hotel where guests, including the late Queen mother, have received the warmest of welcomes and highest levels of hospitality for the past 120 years.

Your Tour Includes

  • Return flights from London Heathrow to Rome
  • 2 nights bed and breakfast at the 4-star Donna Camilla Savelli
  • 2 nights bed and breakfast at the 5-star Sina Brufani
  • 3 evening meals and 4 lunches with wine
  • Private coach transfers and excursions
  • Guided visits to sites listed in the programme
  • Services of the Tour Host and Tour Manager
  • Detailed programme and garden notes
Experts
Michael Marriott

Michael Marriott

Michael Marriott has recently retired having worked at David Austin Roses as a senior rosarian, and remains as one of the world’s most-respected rose experts. He is also well-known for his rose garden design and his common sense approach to gardening. In his work he travels the globe, often sharing his expertise in lectures and workshops.

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Itinerary

Depart London Heathrow with British Airways at 10:35, arriving at Rome Fiumicino airport at 14:20. We then drive to one of Rome’s most tranquil quarters, to the Donna Camilla Hotel. From here, we will take a 20-minute stroll to the extraordinary Roseto Communale di Roma, established in 1931. With 1,100 species of rose, the magnificent view ranges from Palentine Hill to the bell tower of Santa Maria in Cosmedin. We then return to our hotel for a welcome drink and time to relax, before dining together at a local restaurant with wine included.

Includes Dinner

Included Highlights

Roseto Communale di Roma

The morning begins with a visit to Ninfa, a supremely romantic garden, where roses scramble over the ruins of a medieval town set on the banks of a river. After lunch at Ninfa’s own Prodotti Pontini, we continue south to La Landriana, with its series of beautifully planted Arts and Crafts garden rooms designed by Russell Page and the Marchesa Lavinia Taverna. We return to the Donna Camilla Hotel for a free evening in Rome.

Includes Breakfast

Includes Lunch

Included Highlights

Ninfa

Leaving Rome, we head into the hills to visit a relatively new collection of roses, both ancient and modern, occupying a dramatic hillside site. Emanuele Dotti, who has assembled this ever-expanding collection, has named the garden in memory of his dear friend, Giovanni Chilanti.

We continue towards Perugia, stopping for a buffet lunch in the delightful garden of Helga Brichet, a world expert on roses. Helga even lectures in China about Chinese roses and is past president of the World Federation of Rose Societies. Helga’s garden, Santa Maria della Porta, holds a unique collection of Chinese and hybrid gigantea roses.

We then travel to Perugia and the Brufani Palace Hotel, ideally placed in the heart of old Perugia, with wonderful views over rooftops to the countryside beyond. An evening meal has been included at the hotel with local wines included.

Includes Breakfast

Includes Lunch

Includes Dinner

Included Highlights

Perugia

This morning, we travel to Spello to visit Tenuta San Giuseppe. The old silk mill has been transformed into a home and offices for the production of the Barbanera Almanac, produced by the same family for over 250 years and still used by farmers and gardeners throughout Italy. Surrounding the buildings are the potager, orchard garden, and the four-season terrace with roses, designed by Peter Curzon. After refreshments on the terrace, we will be shown the private museum featuring the Barbanera collection of historic almanacs from all over the world. We travel to Spello for a walking tour of the ancient city and dine together at a local restaurant.

Includes Breakfast

Includes Lunch

Includes Dinner

Included Highlights

Tuscany

Returning to Rome, we stop in Tivoli to visit the magnificent gardens of Villa d’Este, one of the most harmonious and evocative examples of Baroque scenography in Italy.

After lunch at Villa d’Este, we return to Rome Fiumicino airport to check in for our return flight.

Includes Breakfast

Includes Lunch

Included Highlights

Villa d’Este

Accommodation

You will stay for two nights at the Donna Camilla Hotel, Rome, and two nights at Hotel Sina Brufani, Perugia with breakfast included, plus two evening meals at local restaurants and one at the Brufani Palace Hotel.