Day 1: Fly from London Heathrow to Rome. On arrival transfer by coach to Frascati (approx. one hour) and the Hotel Colonna for check-in for seven-night stay on bed and breakfast basis. Tonight a welcome dinner is included at a local restaurant.
Day 2: Full day tour of the Alban Hills with a typical Italian lunch. A panoramic tour of the Alban Hills visiting picturesque sights including Abbazia S.Nilo in Grottaferrata and Castel Gandolfo. We will stop for a typical Italian lunch with wine in the lakeside village of Castel Gandolfo.
Day 3: Full day tour to Tivoli including the Villa d’Este and Hadrian’s Villa. The hills of Tivoli were chosen by various aristocrats as the nearest place to escape the heat and pressure of Roman city life. The Villa d’Este, 1559, is a masterpiece of renaissance formality, whereas, Hadrian’s Villa was heavily influenced by that Emperor’s classical Greek education and is a UNESCO listed site.
Day 4: Full day tour to Rome. Our tour starts at the Vatican Gardens, a place of quiet and meditation for the popes since 1279, followed by a short visit to St Peters. We continue the day with an orientation tour of the city and a visit to the Basilica of San Paolo Outside The Walls with its beautiful cloister-garden dating back to 1205 - one of the finest in Rome.
Day 5: Morning free in Frascati and afternoon tour to the Villa Grazioli. After a morning at leisure and lunch (included) in the ancient and bustling town of Frascati we visit the house and 'hanging gardens' of the 16th century Villa Grazioli, with lovely views towards Rome and the sea.
Day 6: Full day tour of Rome’s Botanic Garden, Rose Garden and Villa Medici. Rome’s little known Botanic Garden houses 3000 plant species, water staircases, terraces and a Japanese Garden and is one of the finest in Europe. The Roseto di Roma Capitale, situated opposite the Circus Maximums, has over 1100 varieties of roses which blossom in innumerable colours and scents. Finally we enjoy a tour of the Villa Medici with a visit to the cardinal’s apartment and a panoramic view over Rome from the belvedere.
Day 7: Full day tour to the Gardens of Landriana and Ninfa. The Gardens of Landriana are owned by the Marchesa Lavinia Taverna who over the last 60 years has created a garden with thirty-two different sections carefully based on a mixture of English and classic Italian styles. Despite periodic destruction due to disagreements between surrounding nobility and papacies, the Gardens of Ninfa have survived and are regarded as one of the most important English-style gardens in Italy.
Day 8: Transfer by coach back to Rome airport via the seaside resort of Lido di Ostia for your return flight to London Heathrow.
NB: Exact order of itinerary may vary according to local conditions, weather, garden openings and tour manager's discretion.
Please note the maximum group size on this tour is 30 passengers.