HORTUS goes to Venice & the Veneto
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Hortus last visited this region a good dozen years ago. We are now revisiting the area to discover a new menu of gardens and one or two old friends. The tour begins with a glide across the Lagoon by private boat from the airport to the island of Giudecca and the exclusive five-star Bauer Palladio Hotel. This 16th century palace, constructed by the famous Renaissance architect Andrea Palladio, is a jewel of rare beauty. Whilst in Venice, we journey to Torcello to hear about the origins of the Venetian civilisation and gain a greater understanding of the delicate balance of the lagoon ecology; call in for an apéritif at a rose garden on the Grand Canal; explore a vegetable garden tended by monks; discover the flowers that inspired the Fortuny prints and a remarkable garden designed by Carlo Scarpa. In Verona we are based at the five-star Hotel Due Torri from where we visit a fascinating variety of gardens and enjoy traditional dishes in local restaurants and as guests at two private villas. Jenny Condie will introduce the rich history of the region through its diverse and intriguing gardens.
Read an article about this tour: 'The Veneto Revisited', by Jenny Condie
Day 1: Sunday 22 April
Depart at 13:30 from London Gatwick on flight BA2584, arriving in Venice Marco Polo Airport at 16:40. Travel across the Lagoon to the Bauer Palladio Hotel on the Guidecca. We have reserved rooms overlooking the courtyard and beautiful garden. Each is decorated with frescoed walls and fine tapestries in soft colours reflecting the peaceful and serene surroundings. We dine together at the hotel with local Venetian wines included.
Day 2: Monday 23 April
From our hotel, we travel by boat to the island of Torcello lying to the west of Burano. Torcello was the first island of the Lagoon to be inhabited and its rich wildlife includes a colony of flamingos. We are invited to the Casa Museo Andrich where the artists Lucio Andrich and Clementina De Luca lived and worked. Over 1300 pieces of their work, from the 1950s to the 1980s are displayed in the house and garden. Time to see the stunning 12th century mosaics in Santa Maria Assunta before lunch at the famous Locanda Cipriani. In 1934, having fallen head-over-heels-in love with this enchanting corner of the Lagoon, Giuseppe Cipriani bought a modest wine and oil shop and transformed it into a small inn (locanda) with a lovely restaurant surrounded by a garden. Returning to Venice we alight at Palazzo Malipiero Barnabò on the Grand Canal, where Contessa Barnabò invites us to enjoy an apéritif in her beautiful rose-filled garden. Return to the hotel for a free evening.
Day 3: Tuesday 24 April
Start the day visiting Palazzo Querini Stampalia to see the designs of Carlo Scarpa: water enters from the canal through water gates and travels along rills before running out of the building to the garden and into a many-levelled copper basin. Return to the Giudecca where we visit the Chiesa del Santissimo Redentore (Church of the Most Holy Redeemer) lying behind which is a large enclosed vegetable garden tended by the monks of the Franciscan monastery. There follows time for lunch, before visiting The Fortuny showroom and gardens. In 1919, Fortuny purchased land on the island of Giudecca. Although no visitors are permitted to enter the factory itself, we will be shown the showroom and the adjacent gardens. Many Fortuny fabrics are known for their intricate floral patterns which feature exuberant vines, twisting stems and flowers in full bloom. These printed plants come to life in the garden with hydrangeas, roses, oleanders, and a host of other flora. Return to the hotel with time to change before eating out at a local restaurant.
Day 4: Wednesday 25 April
Cross the Lagoon to join the Brenta Canal where we join the coach. En route to Verona, we visit Villa Fracanzan Piovene as special guests of Conte & Contessa Giusti Piovene who invite us to a light lunch and to view their gardens and orchards and amazing collection of vintage tractors as well as the villa with its incredible 17th century kitchens. Continue to the heart of Verona to view Giardino Giusti and a newly restored 16th century grotto. We arrive at the Hotel Due Torri in Verona with time to settle in before dinner together in the hotel restaurant.
Day 5: Thursday 26 April
Glide across the waters of Lake Garda to visit the small island and garden of Isola di Garda. Following a light lunch, we take the boat to the opposite shore to rejoin the coach and for a visit and wine tasting at the18th century garden of Villa Rizzardi, famous for its magnificent green theatre.
Day 6: Friday 27 April
Leaving Verona, we travel to Villa Pisani Bolognesi Scalabrin at Vescovana for an invitation to lunch with the owner and to visit the romantic garden, a piece of Victorian England transposed to the Venetian plain via Turkey. Later, we visit Padua’s ancient Botanic Gardens where modern glass houses built to a cutting-edge design have just been completed. Return to Marco Polo Airport for flight BA2587 departing at 19:55, arriving at London Gatwick at 21:10.
How much & what's included:
The price per person: £3280
A single supplement of £350 is levied by the hotels.
The price includes: three nights’ bed & breakfast accommodation at Bauer Palladio Hotel, Venice and two nights bed & breakfast at Hotel Due Torri,Verona; four evening meals , plus five lunches, all with local wines and return flights from London, Gatwick. Please note that if you wish to arrange your own flights we will be happy to deduct £99 per person from the tour price if we are notified at the time of booking.
To make a reservation please make a deposit of £200 using the online booking facility below.
Payments can be made over the telephone using a Visa, Mastercard or Maestro card on +44 (0)1341 241717
You may also send a cheque made payable to ‘Boxwood Tours Ltd’ to Boxwood Tours, Rhiw, Llanbedr, Gwynedd, LL45 2NT, UK.
Any questions? Please contact us at the Boxwood Office by telephone: +44 (0)1341 241717 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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