Itinerary

This itinerary is subject to change.

 

Day One

Saturday, May 19
Our journey to visit Italy and its beautiful gardens begins with an evening departure from JFK Airport in New York, arriving early the next morning in Rome.

 

Day Two

Sunday, May 20
After landing and clearing customs we go straightaway to visit Ninfa, a romantic garden nestled among the ruins of a medieval town. After lunch we depart for the ancient city of Pompeii.  Inundated with ash from Vesuvius in 79 A.D., it is the perfect place to begin our exploration of Italian gardens. We then drive to Sorrento where we have some time to relax and rest before we enjoy a get-acquainted dinner together. Our hotel is only a two-minute walk from the famous Piazza Tasso.  Lodging:  Sorrento (D)

 

Day Three

Monday, May 21
Today we drive along the beautiful Amalfi coast, considered to be one of the most spectacular coastlines in the world. We stop in Positano where we board a boat that cruises along the dramatic cliffs to the town of Amalfi.  Nearby in Ravello, we visit the extraordinary gardens of Villa Cimbrone and Villa Rufolo before returning to Sorrento. Lodging: Sorrento (B)

 

Day Four

Tuesday, May 22
We spend much time on the water today, rising early to catch the first ship for the beautiful Isle of Capri. Once on Capri we board a smaller craft and sail around the island.  There is free time for shopping and sightseeing afterward. When we leave Capri, we travel by ferry across the Bay of Naples where our coach takes us on to Rome for the next two nights. Our hotel is located in the heart of Rome, just a short walk from the Spanish Steps.  Lodging: Rome. (B)

 

  Day Five

Wednesday, May 23
Today is our day in Rome—the Eternal City!  We begin with the Vatican Museum and the Sistine Chapel, and finish the day with the Colosseum and the ruins of Ancient Rome. Lodging: Rome. (B)


Day Six

Thursday, May 24
As we say arrivederci! to Rome, we travel into the countryside to visit 3 great villa gardens.  First we head east to the small town of Tivoli to visit Villa d'Este, perhaps the most famous of the many Renaissance Italy villas where hundreds of fountains bespeak of the ingenuity of its hydraulic engineers.  Next we go north to visit the elegant Villa Lante, followed by the bizarre Sacro Bosco before departing for Florence, the birthplace of the Renaissance. Lodging:  Florence (B)  

 

Day Seven

Friday, May 25
We meet our guide, Tanya Gregory, for a walking tour of the historic center of Florence beginning with the Duomo, the Piazza della Signoria, and the Ponte Vecchio before enjoying the afternoon in Florence. You’ll find lunch nearby along with a healthy dose of gelato.  Lodging: Florence (B)

 

Day Eight

Saturday, May 26
Today we see beautiful Tuscany as we head through the Chianti region on our way to Siena.  We stop briefly in the towns of Greve and Radda on the way to Castello di Meleto, a prestigious winery that once was a medieval castle. In Siena, we visit the Piazza del Campo and have the afternoon free to find Siena’s best gelato. Before dark we go to San Gimignano--the hilltop village with 13 tall towers--to visit the town and have dinner (on your own).  There’ll be time for shopping as well. Lodging: Florence (B)(L)

 

Day Nine

Sunday, May 27
This morning we head into the hills surrounding Florence. Our first stop is the garden of Villa Bardini, with the afternoon in nearby Settignano to see Villa Gamberaia.  Upon our return to Florence we stop at the Accademia, home of Michelangelo’s David.  Lodging: Florence (B)

 

Day Ten

Monday, May 28
We depart Florence and travel to Venice, the city of canals. We arrive in time to catch a water taxi to our hotel before taking a walking tour of the city.  Our hotel is located on the Grand Canal near the Rialto Bridge.  Lodging:  Venice (B)    

 

Day Eleven

Tuesday, May 29
Venice is yours to enjoy for a day of shopping, sightseeing and discovery on your own. Lodging:  Venice (B)

 

Day Twelve

Wednesday, May 30
Leaving Venice, we take a boat to meet our motor coach.  Then it’s off to the northern lake country for our final days in Italy.  On the way, we stop in Verona for lunch, a walking tour, and a visit to most famous of northern Italian gardens, Giardino Giusti.  The hotel for our last three nights is in Stresa, located on the shores of Lake Maggiorre.  Lodging: Stresa (B)

 

Day Thirteen

Thursday, May 31
This morning we drive along the western shore of Lake Como where we board a boat to see the fantastic Villa del Balbianello. After lunch we drive along the lake to visit beautiful Villa Carlotta. Tonight we have a farewell dinner together at our hotel. Lodging: Stresa (B)(L)

 

Day Fourteen

Friday, June 1
We begin the day by walking across the street from our hotel to take a water taxi to two beautiful exotic islands: Isola Bella and Isola Madre.  These two islands are truly island gardens, but they are vastly different--one formal and the other informal.  Lodging: Stresa (B)(D)

 

Day Fifteen

Saturday, June 2
We rise early today for our flight back to the States for an afternoon landing at JFK. (B)