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.
The climate in September will be warm and mellow, sometimes with misty mornings. Lightweight clothing is recommended, with a waterproof jacket in case of a shower and good shoes. Smart casual for the evening.
Meals included are shown as B (breakfast), L (lunch) and D (dinner). Often guests meet for drinks before dinner (optional).
Wifi is available at all hotels.
Good walking ability for the towns; please note that some gardens are terraced, with flights of steps.