The fabulous scenery and benign climate of the northern Italian lakes have attracted aristocrats and the wealthy for years, and today their elegant villas and lush gardens perfectly complement the natural landscape. Travelling at this time of year the Camellias are in full flower, providing a welcome splash of colour after the winter months.
From our bases on the Gulf of Borromeo on Lake Maggiore and at the foot of Lake Como we will explore a succession of villas and their gardens, all set against the breathtaking backdrop of snow-capped mountains and glittering water. Undoubtedly one of the main highlights of the trip will be a privileged visit to the private garden of Andrea Corneo - President of the Italian Camellia Society, which is home to a remarkable collection of over 500 plants. We will have a private tour with the owner of Villa Cicogna Mozzoni and enjoy visits to Villa Carlotta, Villa Taranto and the beautifully manicured and impeccably maintained gardens of Villa Balbianello.
Nowhere captures the extravagant spirit of the lakeland gardens better than the three Borromean islands, Bella, Madre and Pescatori, which capture the extravagant spirit of the lakeland gardens, featuring sumptuous terraced gardens, shaded woodland walks, flowered terraces and elegant statuary.
In addition we enjoy a free day to relax and shop in Como town, or visit Villa Melzi d’Eril in Bellagio.
Our tour will be guided by an expert Tour Manager and we will also enjoy expert insights from celebrity gardener Andy Sturgeon who will join us for two days of our tour. A well-known face on television and writer of several well-received garden books, Andy is one of the world’s leading landscape and garden designers with three Chelsea gold medals under his belt, two of which were for the Telegraph garden, winning “Best in Show”. He was made a Fellow of the UK Society of Garden Designers in 2011.
PLEASE NOTE A GOOD DEGREE OF MOBILITY IS REQUIRED TO GET THE MOST OUT OF THIS HOLIDAY AS THERE ARE A LARGE NUMBER OF STEPS AT MANY OF THE GARDENS
- Services of a professional tour manager
- Comfortable coach travel throughout
- Meals - as per the itinerary