18 – 25 April 2017
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.