Susan Worner Tours

Italian Garden Tours

Below is full list of all our Italian Garden Tours, which is now split into two sections – our scheduled Italian Garden Tours and our Bespoke Italian Garden Tour Itineraries. Please scroll down to find out more.


Scheduled Italian Garden Tours

Our Italian Garden Tours are always in demand. Sometimes it is due to Monty Don’s Italian Garden programmes. The beautiful regions, local people and their gardens are fascinating and we also chose restaurants with seasonal, locally grown produce.

  1. Italian Lakes – Spring Gardens around Lakes Como and Maggiore

    17 – 24 April 2018

    Concentrating on the wealth of beautiful gardens around Lakes Como and Maggiore, this tour gives a balance between interesting botanic gardens and those of classic Renaissance and later Italian style. The exuberant spring flowers are set against breath-taking scenery with many varieties of azalea, wisteria, cornus, and magnolia – a spectacular yellow variety is particularly eye-catching

    At the northern end of Lake Maggiore we cross into Switzerland to visit the impressive Eisenhut nursery. An insubric climate, acid soil and sunny cold winters encourages the rich variety of plants found in the region

    The first few days are spent on Lake Como at the delightful, family-run Hotel Florence in the lakeside village of Bellagio, overlooking the beautiful lake and snow-capped mountains. We then transfer to the very comfortable Hotel Cannero on the beautiful Maggiore lakeside, run by Signora Gallinotto and her family to a very high standard.

    Beat Fischer, our Swiss botanist, leads the tour with his usual enthusiasm. Beat has been curator of the University botanic gardens in Berne and has led tours for us for some years.

    Our group will have a maximum of nineteen participants. Travel between gardens is minimal and we use lake boats extensively and a minibus.

  2. Secret Gardens of Venice and the Veneto

    10 – 15 May 2018

    A magical tour of gardens, staying in the centre of Venice in the superb historical Hotel Palazzo Stern on the Grand Canal.

    The history and beauty of the Veneto region, combined with the elegance of the formal gardens, provide the background to this tour. Gardens chosen complement their villa and have interesting structured design.

    We discover the Brenta, where Venetians built their country houses in the seventeenth century, those near the rolling Euganean hills, and discover secret gardens around the canals and lagoon of Venice.

    Our hotel is in the Dorsodoro district of Venice; overlooking the Grand Canal, the terrace is particularly delightful for breakfast or an aperitivo. The Ca’ Rezzonico museum, the Accademia and Peggy Guggenheim galleries are nearby. We use boats and walk on narrow paths, sometimes along canals, often discovering a lovely square. The tour will be led by Susan with Martina Boffelli, our Venetian guide.

  3. Tuscany – Gardens from Florence to Pienza and Lucca

    03 - 12 September 2018

    The Medici created gardens in Florence and the surrounding hills in the 16th century with grottoes, statues, boschetti and waterworks. In later times, gardens were designed in conjunction with the villa to create a harmonious perspective, and terraces were much favoured.

    The early 20th century marked the revival of the Italian formal garden. This rich heritage offers a fascinating programme of gardens for our tour. Mostly private, they form a good balance encompassing the different periods.

    Our appreciation of these outstanding Tuscan gardens is complemented by wine tasting, and by a visit to Impruneta where terracotta pots were first made for the della Robbia, Renaissance masters of the art of enamelling the material.

    September is a delightful season to visit the region. We stay initially in the vibrant city of Florence with its art treasures, churches and markets. Our comfortable, welcoming hotel situated a few minutes from the duomo is a perfect base. A former palazzo, or grand town house, dating from the 16th century and now well restored, it retains its frescoed ceilings and architectural features.

    We then move to Pienza, south of Siena, and finally on to the walled medieval city of Lucca.



Bespoke Italian Garden Tour Itineraries

We arrange bespoke tour itineraries for small groups of friends or colleagues wishing to travel together to a special destination or for specialist horticultural groups. The minimum numbers are eight guests who will be accompanied by Susan or her specialist guides. We have the experience, know the good hotels or lodges and the best itineraries to offer. The itineraries below are examples of bespoke tours. Tailor-made programmes can be arranged for your personal preferences.
To know more please contact us on info@susanwornertours.com or +44 (0) 1423 326 300.
 

  1. Spring Gardens of Florence and Fiesole

    The Medici created gardens in Florence and the surrounding hills in the sixteenth century with grottoes, statues, boschetti and waterworks. Later perspective gardens were designed in conjunction with the villa, often with terraces, and the early twentieth century marked the revival of the Italian formal garden. This rich heritage offers a fascinating programme of visits in the spring flowering season. The gardens chosen are mostly private and form a good balance encompassing the different periods. The vibrant city of Florence with its art treasures, churches and markets is an additional attraction.

    Our comfortable, welcoming hotel in the heart of Florence is a perfect base, a few minutes from the Duomo. Originating as a palazzo in the sixteenth century, and now well restored, it retains its frescoed ceilings and architectural features.

  2. Rome – Gardens from Latium to Tuscia

    The sweeping hill countryside around the eternal city of Rome has a superb collection of gardens – some historic, others recently renovated or created, some influenced by Russell Page. A private visit to Giardino di Ninfa is a highlight of the week. Its setting, variety of plants and flowing water are within an ancient ruined town: it is quite spectacular.

    To visit the gardens south of Rome we stay for three nights in the attractive small hill town of Frascati, at a most comfortable hotel. A full day to visit Rome has been included; it can be reached in 30 minutes by train. We then transfer to the countryside near Lake Bracciano, north of Rome. The elegant and welcoming Hotel di Stigliano has recently re-opened after being beautifully renovated, and there are natural hot water springs and Etruscan remains in the surrounding gardens. It is a good base for gardens north of Rome.

  3. Italian Lakes – Gardens of Lake Maggiore

    Concentrating on the wealth of beautiful gardens around Lake Maggiore, this tour offers a balance between interesting botanic gardens and those of classic Renaissance and later Italian style. We also visit the gardens of Isole di Brissago in Switzerland with its interesting collection of plants. The shelter of high Alps to the north, the sharply varied seasonal temperatures and the humidity of the lakes provide excellent growing conditions. In late September the scent of Osmathus fragans is delightful.

    Our base is the very comfortable Hotel Cannero, with its lovely garden on the quiet Maggiore lakeside, run by Signora Gallinotto and her family. The restaurant overlooks the lake and mountains beyond and specialises in north Italian cuisine. Cannero, a delightful, typically Italian village, is a perfect base. We use the lake ferries when possible to arrive at the gardens.