14th to 19th September 2020:

Join Country Life contributor Charles Quest-Ritson and garden expert Kirsty Fergusson who are hosting and leading this special tour, in addition they will be joined in Venice by guest lecturer Jenny Condie.

Venice is the place to start this tour where we visit three contrasting gardens: the first a soft romantic garden little changed since Henry James was a guest, then the architectural garden by Carlo Scarpa including his bold reinterpretation of a palazzo and then overlooking the Grand Canal, we are invited for a private view of a beautiful flower-filled garden. The next day we depart as the Venetians of yesteryear, when the summer became too hot, they glided across the Lagoon and up the Brenta Canal to the wider fertile countryside of the Veneto. Here we are invited to visit private palazzo gardens with the owners, some with special invitations to lunch but also included: a garden with an exquisite green theatre; the finest of the Palladian Villas and the iconic garden of Villa Barbarigo with many a story to tell. We have selected two beautiful hotels: in Venice we stay at the stylish Hotel Monaco, supremely placed on the Grand Canal then to Hotel Villa Michelangelo a heavenly retreat in the Berici hills, an 18th-century Palladian-style villa surrounded by parkland and views reaching to the mountains beyond.


Day 1: Monday 14th September

Depart at 13:45 from London Gatwick on flight BA2584, arriving in Venice Marco Polo Airport at 17:05. Travel across the Lagoon and up the Grand Canal by private boat to Hotel Monaco, with time to settle in before we dine together in the hotel restaurant joined by Jenny Condie who will give an introduction to the Gardens of Venice & the Veneto.

Day 2: Tuesday 15th September

Today Jenny Condie, author of “The Gardens of Venice and the Veneto” leads us to a romantic secluded garden, then we visit the contrasting Palazzo Querini Stampalia to see the designs of Carlo Scarpa. Water gives the appearance of passing through the Palazzo: we see it enter from the canal through water gates and travel along rills before appearing again in the garden in a many-levelled copper basin. You are then free to get your own lunch and to use the afternoon to explore before meeting up again in the early evening for a private visit to Palazzo Cappello Malipiero Barnabò. When passing by boat on the Grand Canal, few could miss the explosion of flowers, foliage and statuary that bursts into view between two high buildings, gardens in Venice are rare but on the Grand Canal they are like gold dust, a flower filled garden with exquisite statues is beyond belief. The dream continues, when we dine together at the opulent Restaurant Terrazza Danieli, a wonderful restaurant with a wonderful view. Return together to Hotel Monaco.

Day 3: Wednesday 16th September

Taking a private boat, we cross the lagoon and navigate the Brenta Canal to Malcontenta.  Travel together to a contemporary garden laid out around the 16th century Villa Emo at Rivella, where we have been invited to enjoy drinks and lunch with the Contessa Marina Emo in her Palladian style villa.  In the afternoon we visit the famous 17th century garden of Villa Barbarigo, at Valsanzibio with an exquisite water gate, pools, statues, maze and rabbit island. Arriving at Hotel Villa Michelangelo with time to settle in before dining together.

Day 4: Thursday 17th September

A morning visit to Villa Rizzardi Pojega to see the 18th century garden most famous for its magnificent green theatre. At Villa Arvedi we are invited by Paolo Arvedi to lunch and to view the Villa and the immaculate garden that is managed with great skill. On the edge of Verona, we discover the exquisite Giardino Giusti and partake of an aperitif overlooking the garden from the newly restored 16th century palazzo. Return to Hotel Villa Michelangelo dining together.

Day 5: Friday 18th September

La Rotunda, otherwise known as Villa Almerico Capra, is probably the most famous of architect Andrea Palladio’s many buildings.  Built in 1570, it has been well visited and admired for its pure perfection. We are then invited to join Francesca Giusti Piovene at Villa Fracanzan Piovene as special guests where we partake of a delicious lunch in the Villa and view her gardens, orchards and incredible 17th century kitchens. Return to Hotel Villa Michelangelo with time to change before dining together at a fine restaurant in Vicenza.

Day 5: Saturday 19th September

Return to Marco Polo Airport for flight BA2583 departing at 11:30 arriving at London Gatwick at 12:45.

How much & what’s included:

Price per person: £3580

(Single supplement of £450 levied by the hotels)

The price includes two nights at the Hotel Monaco, Venice and three nights at Hotel Villa Michelangelo with all breakfasts plus five evening meals with local wines included and three lunches as stated in the itinerary.  The price does not include extras at the hotels or travel insurance. The tour starts at London Gatwick: airline recommended check-in at 11:45 for the 13:45 departure of British Airways flight BA2584. Please contact the Boxwood office if you wish to obtain a quotation to upgrade to Club Class flights or to a suite in either hotel. Those wishing to make their own travel arrangements should state this on the booking form and deduct £150 per person from the tour price. Please note that Boxwood Tours use hotels of character featuring a variety of rooms & styles.

This tour is financially protected by the ATOL scheme. When you pay you will be supplied with an ATOL Certificate. Please ask for it and check to ensure that everything you booked (flights, hotels and other services) is listed on it. Please see our booking conditions for further information or for more information about financial protection and the ATOL Certificate go to: www.atol.org.uk/ATOLCertificate

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