7 nights starting from
• Tivoli’s Villa d’Este and Hadrian’s Villa
• Three lunches and one dinner at typical local restaurants
• Parco del Mostri at Bomarzo and Villa Lante at Bagnaia
• Gardens of Ninfa and Landriana
• Frascati & the boutique Colonna Hotel – a lovely base for this tour
Some are calm oases hidden behind the walls of Rome’s busy streets, others are rural retreats where the emperors and cardinals went to escape the congestion and bustle of the city. All are famous for their beauty and are a joy to explore.
Visits include the hill town of Tivoli, Villa d’Este, Hadrian’s Villa, the Gardens of Ninfa, Parco del Mostri at Bomarzo and Villa Lante at Bagnaia, Villa Medici, plus a tour of the Alban Hills including a typical Italian lunch.
|08 - May - 2020||£ 1695.00||Travel Info Book Now||booking-journey/#/start/VGR/08 May 2020/|
Departing: 08th May 2020 at 10:45
Returning: 15th May 2020 at 17:30
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: 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 5: Full day tour to the Parco del Mostri at Bomarzo and Villa Lante at Bagnaia.
The Parco del Mostri (Park of Monsters) was devised by the architect Pirro Ligorio in the 16th century and is full of grotesque sculptures and mysterious small buildings. It fell into disrepair over the centuries until 1954 when it was bought by Giovanni Bettini who has maintained it ever since. Salvador Dali made a short film about the gardens and based a painting on it which promoted the restoration of the gardens and it is now a popular privately-owned, tourist attraction. The Mannerist garden at Villa Lante was designed for Cardinal Gambara who had a taste for outdoor living. Designed along Palladian principles, is it perfectly proportioned and richly detailed, featuring cascades, fountains, grottoes and classical sculptures.
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.
Hotel Colonna, Frascati
Located in the centre of Frascati in an historic building, the three-star Hotel Colonna has twenty rooms all elegantly furnished in a classical style with en-suite bathroom with bath or shower, TV, telephone, wifi, air-conditioning, minibar, safe and hairdryer. The hotel offers a breakfast room and bar (located down stairs in the hotel), beautifully decorated with frescoes of some of the most important villas in Frascati, serving both sweet and savory options. The hotel does not have its own restaurant, but being in the centre of Frascati means there is plenty of choice for an evening meal. Please note the hotel does not have a lift.
Hotel Colonna Website
We love to receive feedback from our customers. Their views help us to keep improving the ours we offer. If you have been on this tour and would like to submit a review, please log in to our client area here and fill in the short form.
Review by Anonymous who travelled 03-May-2019
When I spoke with other members of the group I learned that they had been sent more information about the tour than I had received. My efforts to find out more on the website before I travelled were not rewarding. Frascati is an attractive town and made a good base but the hotel was barely adequate, cold rooms and a tiny shower.
Review by Hall who travelled 03-May-2019
Excellent value for money. Packed schedule, imaginative, revealing and a real education for the fascinated. Barbara's recommendation of solo visit to Parco Villa Gregoriana in Tivoli was thoroughly worth it. A high-light! Barbara also gave up a free morning to take a group of 8 to 3 different villas above Frascati - good of her. She was perhaps a little timid in her knowledge and this was a specialist tour, but a successful one certainly. We often begun very early, and could have perhaps benefited from, say, 9.00/9.30 starts to busy days. Meals out and locations excellent - except Rome central railway station! Wine and food good, and generous, while 18 in the group was a correct size. The significant feature of this tour was the wide variety of places/ gardens/ houses/ landscapes visited - comprehensive and outstanding in so many ways.
Review by Anonymous who travelled 03-May-2019
Barbara Santarelli, our guide, made this holiday well above the average. She was brilliant and so friendly and helpful. The hotel was a little 'frayed around the edges' but otherwise OK. The places visited were spectacular.
Review by Webb who travelled 03-May-2019
Highlight was the lunch in a Rome railway station self-service restaurant. With all of Rome at our feet, we have to eat there! Come on!!
Review by Philpot who travelled 04-May-2018
It was apparent that this tour had been put together from various different feeder organisations with different expectations. We signed up with the Art Fund whose brochure made no mention of a visit to the Vatican and Sistine Chapel but the tour leader said she was obliged to include this uncomfortable and unrewarding visit because it was listed in other brochures. Overall it was a very good trip and the tour leader was very positive in arranging extra events to fill free time in the programme. She managed the group well, including some difficult members, but we found her slightly casual and not always well-informed on the history of the sites visited.
Review by Sandars who travelled 04-May-2018
Review by who travelled 04-May-2018
Review by who travelled 04-May-2018
A lovely holiday! Barbara was a delightful and effective tour manager, the sites and guides were super, the hotel and its location most pleasant, our coach driver very co-operative. Scenery, gardens, ancient sites, history all around us-and glorious food and wine! Excellent!
Review by Lowry who travelled 04-May-2018
Barbara Santorelli is a superb companion/guide
Review by who travelled 04-May-2018
Day 2, could omit Grottaferrata visit and have longer in Castalgondolfo as currently insufficient time to visit papal summer palace. Vatican gardens very good but visit to Vatican museum and St Peter’s was very crowded, as it was when we have previously visited. Other gardens, Tivoli, Landriana, Ninfa, Villa Medici, Rome Botanics and rose garden were superb. Ostia Antica on last day also excellent.
Review by Coe who travelled 04-May-2018
Excellent Tour Manager in Barbara, Hotel fine but lacked a room/bar to relax in. Also air conditioning not allowed for some reason! One day on Rome would be better leaving out St Paul's Basillica & replacing it with Botannic Gardens. Otherwise a very enjoyable holiday.
Review by Mrs Sharon Butt who travelled 05-May-2017
Barbara our tour manager always went the extra mile and was one of the very best in our many years of travel. It was so nice that we were taken to see more sights/places than mentioned in the itinerary. These included additiona villas in Frascati and visits to Anzio and Nettuno.
Review by Mr John Allen who travelled 05-May-2017
We felt far to much walking, not made plain in brochure we saw. The two days in Rome were tedious and tiring and could have been cut to one day when we got there again a lot of walking up hill. When we arrived at Castel Condolfo, we arrived when the gardens were shut, so we missed them. The whole trip was saved by Villa D,Estes and the Thursdays two gardens Landriana and th mighty Ninfa. The hotel was fine apart from no hot water, we asked, but only got Luke warm water all week. You need Villas with gardens, not Villas and Gardens. By the way Barbara great !!
Review by Mr Stewart Dawson who travelled 05-May-2017
a very interesting trip. Too many guides waffled on and the Sistine Chapel is truly horrendous these days. Could not see a thing for tourists taking photos. The two gardens on the last day really made the trip; they were both magical.
Review by Mrs Joanna Bastin who travelled 05-May-2017
Very happy with tour manager and arrangements. Would prefer more time in gardens rather than Sistine Chapel and St. Paul in Rome - tour is Villas and Gardens not churches. Would like to have been allocated a seat next to my daughter on flights.
Review by Ms Susan Knights who travelled 05-May-2017
I think all of us read what we want to see and we misread the title of this tour to read only the word Gardens so we did not expect so many villas without gardens. However the gardens we did visit were excellent. Maybe you should consider a Gardens ONLY tour in this area Having to go into Rome from Frascati on two days was very slow on these roads.
Review by Blacklaws who travelled 05-May-2017
A most most enjoyable, well organised and managed holiday. Barbara our tour manager was first class in all aspects. The accommodation was perfect located in the hills outside of Rome in a delightful town with plenty of facilities without being touristy. The gardens at Ninfa were particularly attractive.
Review by Mr John Korna who travelled 06-May-2016
No luggage labels sent to help tour manager identify us initially. Some time wasted waiting for guides etc. However, overall the trip was enjoyable and the relatively small size of the party made it a friendly and informal experience,
Review by Mr & Mrs J Sale who travelled 06-May-2016
A most enjoyable trip.
Review by Mrs Joan Wray Smith who travelled 06-May-2016
Hotel central, friendly and obliging but many of us felt the lack of a room to sit and chat other than in the bedroom. Coaches v.comfortable. Barbara Santorelli was excellent - experienced, caring and conscientious. Apart from the excellent set-piece visits such as Villa d'Este and Ninfa, some of the days were thin - we did not see the gardens at Castle Gandolfo and the town is just a tourist place. Villa Medici had little to offer. The Basilica should be removed from the itinerary - it is mostly reproduction due to the fire and the wonderful cloisters did not make up for the extended Catholic propaganda from the Guide. Many felt the same about the Vatican gardens.
Review by Mrs Deirdre McLellan who travelled 06-May-2016
Review by Mr Neil Buckley who travelled 17-April-2015
As it was the first trip there were a few problems to iron out. Barbara our guide was helpful. The hotel was adequate but the food was poor. There was one lady chef for 38 people and the standard was not very good. It took 1.5hours to get into the centre of Rome on the monday morning. That visit to the Vatican gardens, museums, Sistine Chapel and st Paul's outside the walls was far too long for everyone. We would have missed the museums and the Sistine Chapel completely as a group of 37 plus 2 guides was far too large. Personally, we felt like sheep being herded through the Sistine Chapel. The Gardens and Villas bits were lovely especially Ninfa. it was too early in the season for a lot of the gardens-especially the rose garden in Rome. The timing of the trip would be better in early May.
Review by Mrs Anessa Kadow who travelled 17-April-2015
The Botanical Gardens were not of your usual high standard and the Roses were not in bloom in the Rose Garden. I thought that the Medici Villa + gardens could have been replaced by other items. The garden was not authentic and no reference to future plans. I studied Garden History with Birkbeck. Barbara arranged to us to visit Ostia Antica on the way back to the airport which warranted a full day's browsing. Very interesting place. The food in the hotel improved with Barbara's prompting. The hotel staff however did all they could to make our stay lovely which they did.
Review by Mrs Mary Clark who travelled 17-April-2015
Tour was poorly researched, hotel in too remote position, food poor. Numbers should have limit of 20. Tips should be included in tour price. 2 hours each way coach to Rome unacceptable, should be 2 centre tour. Brochure description appeared hotel in Frascati!
Review by Mrs Jane Collier who travelled 17-April-2015
Travel Editions feedback:
Thank you for your comments and from yours and other clients on this tour the itinerary will be amended for 2016.
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